‘Hell for Leather’ – ELeather/LSBU Product Design collaboration – concept furniture designs

13 May 2022


ELeather is a UK-based, sustainable materials company. Using an innovative and patented process, they cleverly recycle waste leather hides (that would otherwise end up in landfill!) into a world-class alternative to traditional leather. Through a contact in the LSBU Research & Enterprise office, BSc Product Design students were given the opportunity to investigate with this new composite material

ELeather is stronger, more durable, and significantly better for the planet. Thus, providing more effective and targeted materials to OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in the automotive, aviation, public transport, fashion, footwear, and lifestyle sectors.

After an initial presentation at LSBU from the ELeather design team, students were inspired by this exciting new material.  They physically experienced the touch, feel, twist, squeeze, range of colours and yes… even taste and smell of ELeather!

Students worked in pairs, over 6 weeks, and tackled an IKEA ‘concept furniture design’ brief with two principal aims:

  1. use sheet plywood as the structural material
  2. combine Eleather as a key element of decoration or function

After brainstorming and plenty of 2D sketch drawing, 3D card models were produced at a scale of 1:3 and used helped to inform the CAD models.  At an interim presentation teams presented 1:1, full-size card models.


In May 2022 the winners went a day trip to ELeather HQ in Peterborough where they were shown the manufacturing processes, plus a tour of the design studio and the wide range of existing objects currently using ELeather.

Eleather visit1

The five teams will now go on to construct a 1:1 size working prototype using ELeather & plywood to be exhibited at the Product of South Bank degree show in June 2022.

Eleather visit3