Frequently Asked Questions About MIRUM®
- What are the sustainability benefits of MIRUM®?
- What does it mean that MIRUM® is recyclable and circular?
- Is MIRUM® biodegradable?
- Which of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals does MIRUM® support?
What is MIRUM®?
MIRUM® is a highly customizable plant-based material that can be used to produce soft-goods for fashion accessories, footwear, consumer electronics, automotive, and more. Unlike nearly all leather-like materials, MIRUM® contains no synthetic or plastic inputs. MIRUM® can be used as a leather complement, a leather substitute, and, most importantly, a complete replacement for leather-like materials that contain plastics (e.g., pleather or synthetic leather). By leveraging the immense variety of natural plants and minerals, MIRUM® can take on unique characteristics beyond the limitations of both animal leather and pleather. With the MIRUM® technology platform, designers can powerfully expand their creative process.
The name MIRUM® comes from old Latin, drawing inspiration from the word miraculum, meaning “object of wonder.” MIRUM® was chosen to convey a sense of wonder and appreciation for a novel class of NFW’s patented all-natural composites.
What natural ingredients are used to make MIRUM®?
MIRUM® is made with plants and minerals. Our materials are never coated in polyurethane or PVC. Individual SKUs of MIRUM® are USDA certified 100 percent biobased material. MIRUM® is made from a combination of virgin natural materials and upcycled agricultural sidestreams. We are focused on developing a supply chain that draws on regenerative sources. MIRUM® engineers carefully select ingredients to yield specified design aesthetics and mechanical properties.
How is MIRUM® made?
A detailed description of how MIRUM® is made can be found on NFW’s blog.
What are the sustainability benefits of MIRUM®?
MIRUM® is much less resource-intensive to produce than both animal and synthetic leather, and unlike other next generation "vegan" leather alternatives, MIRUM® contains no plastic. According to scholarly research, producing one kilogram of animal leather emits 2-12 kg CO2-eq of greenhouse gasses. Emissions vary greatly depending on where animals are raised, how animal rearing is allocated to greenhouse gas emission of the hide, how tanning is achieved, etc. A kilogram of synthetic polyurethane-based leather alternative requires between 5-25 kg CO2-eq of emissions. MIRUM® requires no tanning and is made from natural materials instead of petroleum. NFW is committed to performing rigorous life cycle assessment (LCA) on our MIRUM® materials and will release findings in early 2022. In addition to having an extremely low carbon footprint, MIRUM® requires no water during manufacturing and dyeing. MIRUM® efficiently uses biobased materials that will not pollute the earth when products made from MIRUM® have reached post-consumer end of life.
What does it mean that MIRUM® is recyclable and circular?
MIRUM® is the first material of its kind that is both 100% recyclable and 100% circular in nature. MIRUM® does not contain any petrochemicals or plastics. Unlike materials made with petrochemicals, MIRUM® does not become plastic pollution at the end of its life. Not only is MIRUM® 100% natural, but MIRUM® can be endlessly recycled into new MIRUM®. Cuttings, scraps, and worn-out products can be used to produce new MIRUM®. Recycled MIRUM® is as elegant and high-performing as virgin MIRUM®, and this patented process allows NFW to decrease our use of virgin materials, perpetually reducing our impact on the environment with each reuse cycle. If for any reason MIRUM® exits this production cycle, its bio-neutrality allows MIRUM® to return its nutrients to the earth safely.
Is MIRUM® biodegradable?
As the term “biodegradable” is regulated in some regions, MIRUM® is not biodegradable. Then again, neither is a tree. Neither breaks down fast enough to meet regulatory standards.
Just as a wooden house should be durable enough to provide shelter for many years, a designer handbag or luxury automotive interior should be made to last.
It is not our goal to meet the rapid regulatory timeframe of “biodegradability” because that would mean compromising quality. Our materials are 100% natural, durable, and of uncompromising quality. And when they do biodegrade, they contribute nutrients instead of pollutants to the environment.
Which of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals does MIRUM® support?
- 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
- 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
- 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
- 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
- 14: Life Below Water
How durable is MIRUM®?
MIRUM® is engineered to be long-lasting and durable. MIRUM® outperforms on a number of performance metrics, ranging from mechanical to chemical properties (e.g., toughness while being water-resistant).
Inherent in the discussion of durability is the tradeoff between durable, long-lasting materials, and materials that readily biodegrade. No one wants their designer handbag to degrade in a matter of months. You want your products to last.
The solution to the trade-off between quick biodegradability and durability, as NFW sees it, is to look at the entire lifecycle of a product and dive deep into what it actually means to produce truly sustainable materials that fall into a category outside any “green” marketing label. It is not the goal of NFW's materials to meet the rapid timeframe of biodegradability because that would mean compromising quality. We will never seek to market our materials as “biodegradable” to the standards as regulated in regions like California. Our solutions are products that are 100 percent natural, durable, and of uncompromising quality.
What aesthetic variety does MIRUM® offer designers?
MIRUM®’s extensive tunability allows brands to design with purpose. We currently offer two lines of MIRUM®: Primary and Signature.
The Primary Collection comes in four plant personalities — corn, rice, coconut, and cork. These SKUs of MIRUM® showcase natural variety of plant input color and texture variation.
The Signature Collection offers more customization options than Primary MIRUM® with regard to color, shine, texture, grain, scent, temper, thickness, and fabric backers.
We are constantly working to expand our design options. Inquire with a MIRUM® representative to obtain details on our most up-to-date options!
Is MIRUM® commercially available?
Yes. MIRUM® is available for purchase. If you are interested in purchasing MIRUM®, the first step is to fill out our product inquiry form. If you've been in touch with us but have not heard back, you are on the waiting list. We continue to navigate unprecedented demand for MIRUM® and hope to be in touch soon.