Developing a novel material for the future of fashion

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ADVANCED Vegan leather alternative using kombucha to
reduce the ecological
footprint of the
fashion industry


Made from bacterial nano-cellulose, the same material forming on the surface of a healthy batch of kombucha tea. SMOBY is a bio-based novel material that does not contain any petroleum derivatives.

Our technology makes it possible to create a strong, durable, supple material from waste and raw materials to tackle global challenges with a system solution approach contributing to a circular economy and a positive social impact.

We boost the BNC during growth while modifying our hydrogel via varied chemical functionalisation techniques in the most sustainable way to develop a perfectly leather-like biomimetic material. We aim to drive positive change, starting with the fashion industry, using enhanced natural materials while providing the quality and performance comparable to animal leather.

SMOBY is more than a sustainable leather alternative; with the power to customise BNC’s aesthetics, we are developing an advanced multifunctional material that was never available before. We aim to unlock new levels of creative control by growing the material of tomorrow.

Pilot products to challange the smoby

We are creating different shapes and experimenting with various techniques to challenge the material. We gift our samples to selected early adopters to test and share their direct feedback about the SMOBY.

Our Journey began back in 2018

Over the last couple of years, we developed a unique technology to grow and treat the BNC and enhance its qualities to build a sustainable, engineerable and scalable material with a similar tensile strength to leather.

We are excited to share more of our journey and cannot wait to hear your thoughts about our novel material.

Our story begins with Smobya co-founder Lidia Kuti working in the fashion industry and experimenting with the waste product of her home-brewed kombucha tea.

She was fascinated by the bacterial-nanocellulose growing on the surface of the kombucha tea and coming from a family of artists; she started experimenting with the different applications of the material.

Leticia Kuti, iSTAN Young Excellence Award winner designer, joined Lidia in 2018 to test and analyze the application possibilities of such material.

They applied for the Mercedes Benz Fashion week Gombold Ujra competition with the first samples created from this novel material, while consulting with scientists on further engineering the BNC.

Our superstar founding team was soon complete with like-minded, curious, determined professionals Reka Varga and Almos Kuti.