Malai, using coconut waste to produce biodegradable cellulose



Company type




Business model

Create value from waste

Circular principle

Foster diversity and redundancy


Across the Indian country the leather industry is known to be a major agent of environmental pollution. The project Malai contrasts this industry with the development of skin replacement biocomposites, using sustainable and biodegradable bacterial cellulose, grown in southern India using agricultural waste from the industry coconuts.



The company Malai has developed a biocomposite material made from entirely organic and sustainable bacterial cellulose, grown on agricultural waste sourced from the coconut industry in Southern India.


Description of business model

Value proposition: Malai is a flexible, durable biocomposite material with a feel comparable to leather or paper. It is water resistant and because it contains absolutely no artificial ‘nasties’ it will not cause any allergies, intolerances or illness. It is a completely vegan product and as such you could even eat it!

Value creation and delivery: Malai works with the local farmers and processing units, collecting their waste coconut water (which would otherwise be dumped, causing damage to the soil) and re-purposing it to feed the bacteria’s cellulose production. One small coconut-processing unit can collect 4000 litres of water per day, which can be used to make 320 sq. meters of Malai.

The company collaborates with local communities of makers as well as working with suppliers whose ethical approach is transparent and verified.


More info:

Made from malai website


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