Frequently Asked Questions About MIRUM®
- What are the sustainability benefits of MIRUM?
- What does it mean that MIRUM is recyclable and circular?
- Which of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals does MIRUM support?
What is MIRUM?
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 all-natural composites invented and patented by Natural Fiber Welding. MIRUM is a material that can be used to produce highly customizable soft-goods for the fashion accessories, footwear, consumer electronics, automotive, and a continually expanding breadth of applications. MIRUM contains no synthetic or plastic inputs. MIRUM can be used as a leather complement, a leather substitute, and, most importantly, a complete replacement to leather-like materials that contain plastics (i.e., pleather, vegan leather, plant leather). Leveraging the endless variety of natural plants and minerals, MIRUM can take on unique characteristics beyond the limitations of animal leather. The MIRUM technology platform is a powerful extension of the creative design and expression process.
What is MIRUM made of?
MIRUM is made from abundant natural inputs and zero plastics. Our finished materials are never coated in polyurethane or PVC. Individual SKUs of MIRUM are USDA certified as a 100 percent biobased material. MIRUM is made from a combination of abundant virgin natural materials and natural inputs from agricultural waste. As we move forward, NFW is focusing on long term supply chain development to source from 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 far less resource intensive to produce than animal leather and synthetic leather. According to scholarly research, animal leather requires the emission of 2-12 kg carbon dioxide equivalent per kg of animal leather produced and can 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. Synthetic polyurethane-based materials (pleather, vegan leather, plant leather) require between 5-25 kg carbon dioxide equivalent per kg of synthetic polymer produced. MIRUM requires no tanning and is made from natural polymers and materials (see above). NFW is committed to performing rigorous life cycle assessment (LCA) on our MIRUM products. In addition to having an extremely low carbon footprint, MIRUM requires no water during manufacturing and dyeing. MIRUM efficiently uses 100% biobased (add link here too), raw materials that will completely return to the earth after they've been processed to form MIRUM and the 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. In short, unlike materials made with petrochemicals, MIRUM does not become waste at the end of its life. MIRUM is unique in that it is the only plant-based leather replacement on the market that does not contain any petrochemicals. Not only is MIRUM 100% natural, but the unique patented processes used to make MIRUM create a material that is completely “circular.” MIRUM is able to be used again and again to make more MIRUM products or to give back nutrients to the natural environment. At the end of a MIRUM product’s life, it can be disassembled and the MIRUM components can be ground up and fed back into the MIRUM production process. Not only is recycled MIRUM as elegant and high-performing as it was in its virgin state, but this process allows NFW to decrease our use of virgin raw materials, perpetually reducing our impact on the environment with each reuse cycle. If for any reason MIRUM exits this cycle, its bio-neutrality allows MIRUM to return its nutrients to the earth safely and efficiently.
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 is extremely tunable and allows brands to design with purpose. MIRUM is customizable in the following ways:
- Texture/Surface Grain
Each of the four MIRUM Primary options (Corn, Rice, Coconut, and Cork) are derived from abundant natural resources and provide a unique combination of characteristics to match the functional needs and creative desires of our brand partners.
Black, tan, and off-white MIRUM can be customized with a range of textures and optional fabric backers. Future collections will introduce more colors.
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.