Who’d have thought that an invasive species like the Lionfish would be good for making wallets, purses and even sneakers?
Three avid scuba diving friends were looking to curb the invasive Lionfish problem off the coast of Florida and in the Caribbean and realized the Lionfish skin could be turned into leather. They formed a company called INVERSA to do just that.
Earlier this month on World Oceans Day, the company was named one of the nine finalists for the Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC), led by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA), which acts as an incubator by providing mentoring, leadership training and, for some, funding to help promising projects scale up.
ORRAA said of INVERSA:
“This organization manufactures the world’s first regenerative leather. Made from invasive lionfish, which can destroy local marine life, INVERSA Leathers helps solve an environmental crisis and helps fashion be more sustainable. INVERSA Leathers is based in Florida USA, but the shortlisted project will build well-equipped fishing cooperatives in Quintana Roo, Mexico, through underwriting fishers’ risk with a 100% catch-to-cash guarantee, financing the upfront re-tooling expenses for fishers to hunt and catch lionfish and offering premium incentives and prompt payment timelines.”
For more info about the company, go to inversaleathers.com.