Infused Fragrance

Infused Fragrance

The fashion industry is taking notice. Big brands are beginning to integrate sustainable alternatives into their lines, or even creating whole new subdivisions dedicated to exploring the future of sustainable fashion. One of the more impactful ways to improve the industry is through materiality. Biomaterials are becoming increasingly available as the industry grows. One of these materials is a vegan leather alternative made from rice. Alexander McQueen sub-brand MCQ has created a small collection of jackets made from this material. But they have gone one step further – infusing them with scent. What if enhancing biomaterial’s qualities could help bring them to market faster as they become the more desirable alternative? Here is where fragrance could help.


The plant-based leather, called Mirum, is made from natural latex, rice hulls and a woodsy blend of essential oils to form scented jackets. The limited edition jackets are part of the label’s Grow Up collection, and takes the form of a traditional biker jacket to showcase the material. Mirum is created by Natural Fiber Welding and customised for MCQ using mineral clay which allows the rice-husks shine through. Each of the jackets is finished with hand-painted nature motifs by New York artist Kevin Emerson. While the material makeup allows the brand to add fragrance to the garment directly. 

The leather has a carbon footprint of around two kilograms of CO2 per kilogram of material, while the material emits up to 40 times less carbon than leather and up to 17 times less than synthetics. As synthetic leathers are often made of plastics, or contain a layer of plastic.


Fragrance is added at the early stage of material production. The jackets’ scents are earthy to represent gardening, and will linger in the garments for around a year. These essential oils are directly mixed in with the other ingredients, such as clay, natural latex derived from the rubber tree, and a number of different vegetable oils. All of these are then combined with a filler of waste materials from the food industry such as coconut and corn husks or, in this case, rice hulls. This mixture is applied to a backing textile and finished.

At end of life the jackets can be ground up and recycled into new Mirum or placed in soil and left to biodegrade. This will take a couple of months, and the material was made to avoid polluting the surrounding environment during its degradation process.


The jackets were created as part of MCQ’s Grow Up collection. This collection is based on sulf-sufficiency and home gardening in the wake of the pandemic. Each garment is inspired by natural processes, as well as DIY and mending techniques. Overstock textiles were used to create new garments, and old fabrics made into unique patchwork items. The horticultural theme was brought to life through watercolours and playful illustrations, as well as printing and colouring techniques as flowers and foliages were pressed and hammered onto the fabrics. 

The collection features collaborations from Kevin Emerson, Liam MacCrae, Tino Seubert, Gerald Straftord, Calvin How, Daniel Pacitti, Canclini 1925, Natural Fiber Welding and the MCQ team.






Liam Macrae