Since our launch in 2001, we have never used leather, feathers, fur or exotic skins. Continuing our mission to develop material innovations that are not only cruelty-free, but that positively impact the environment, UPPEAL™ is a vegan, cruelty-free alternative to animal leather made from the waste of apples grown for juice and jam in Northern Italy.  

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What is UPPEAL™

UPPEAL™ is a partly biobased vegan, versatile and waterproof alternative to animal leather, innovated by Mable Industries and Frumat since 2014. 

By using the waste of apples grown for the juice and jam industries, UPPEAL™ taps into industrial symbiosis – repurposing local food waste as a resource. An estimated 30,000 tonnes of apple waste are created in Northern Italy alone, according to Mabel Industries. The waste – including leftover pulp, skins and seeds that are otherwise sent to landfill or burned – is recovered by Bolzano-based Frumat and dehydrated and ground into Frumat Apple Powder. The powder is then used by Mabel Industries to substitute oil and other fossil fuel derivatives, combined with polyurethane for durability and coated onto a canvas to create UPPEAL™

It is soft and supple and can be easily embossed or laser-printed. For Stella McCartney, it is embossed with a crocodile-skin effect to craft vegan luxury icons that do not compromise on desirability or durability. 

Exotic skins are cruel, unethical and inhumane, with animals kept in crowded and unhygienic enclosures and suffering immensely before being skinned, often whilst still alive. Vietnam alone exports around 30,000 crocodile skins annually, according to PETA.

I am on a mission to create a fashion industry that does not harm our fellow creatures, is less impactful on Mother Earth and produces zero waste. I love that my new UPPEAL™ bags repurpose apples to craft vegan materials that have the same look and luxurious feel of crocodile leather, without compromising on my cruelty-free values. I hope others will join me in this future of fashion.

Stella McCartney

The Frayme and S-Wave bags in UPPEAL™

UPPEAL™ featured in our Winter 2023 runway collection as Frayme tote, bucket and shoulder bags in Alter Croc – carefully embossed in a cruelty-free crocodile skin-effect. They are immediately recognisable as Stella icons for their wraparound, bi-galvanic aluminium chains and signature logo medallions in zero-waste zamac. They also feature organic cotton lacing and a lining crafted from recycled polyester. 

The S-Wave bag was introduced as part of the Winter 2022 collection, named for its statement brand-mark moulded from zero-waste zamac. Appearing as a baguette shoulder bag and wallet clutch in chocolate brown and black for Winter 2023, the accessories feature webbing straps and a monogrammed lining made from 100% post-consumer recycled polyester. Their trims are also in UPPEAL™, without the crocodile embossing.