Uncaged Innovations Reimagines Leather


Uncaged Innovations of White Plains, and formerly of New York’s Capital Region, is a biotechnology company that is developing a sustainable alternative to leather. Allison Freedman, the company’s Director of Operations, describes the company’s product as vegan because it is not derived from animals or use animal products.

The traditional production of leather raises environmental concerns. Tanning, the chemical treatment of animal hides, may use toxic substances. Waste is produced from finishing skins and hides, and traditional leather production requires significantly more water than synthetic alternatives. To power their operations, tanneries also produce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

The grant enabled us to prove that we could make materials at scale. It got us closer to commercialization and enabled us to get the materials to our partners.
Allison Freedman
Director of Operations

The Challenge

Uncaged Innovations needs to produce materials at scale and at a reasonable cost to appeal to potential partners in the fashion, automotive, and home goods industries. The company would like to partner with small fashion brands first and then expand to larger fashion brands and its other target industries. Bridging the gap from pilot scale production to full-scale production is essential.

The Solution

The Tech Valley Center of Gravity (TVCoG), a manufacturing incubator in Troy, New York, applied for and received a 2023 Manufacturing Grant in partnership with Uncaged Innovations. The $50,000 award from FuzeHub’s Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund supported the development of Uncaged Innovations’ first full roll of material.

Outcomes / The Impact

The success of the project proved to Uncaged Innovations that the company was ready to engage fashion brands and could produce larger pieces cost-effectively. The company is now working on its coating process, and expects to start selling its material during the second half of 2024. The ability to supply its partners means that Uncaged Innovations is one step closer to commercialization.

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