Malai – (noun) a newly developed biocomposite material made from entirely organic and sustainable bacterial cellulose, grown on agricultural waste sourced from the coconut industry in Southern India. We work 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 we can use to make 320 sq. meters of Malai.


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!*


*but it’s way too pretty for that…


The word ‘Malai’ refers directly to the creamy flesh of the coconut and it is the coconut water (a by-product from the harvesting of this flesh) that sustains the bacteria whilst they are producing the cellulose, which is then in turn collected and refined until it becomes the finished material: Malai.  

We can produce it in sheets (with a range of thicknesses) and we have also developed a process whereby we can create seamless three-dimensional objects using a moulding technique.  Malai is available in a range of colours achieved through the use of mordant-free natural dyes, and it can develop a soft sheen or patina over time.

A product made from Malai will last many years if properly cared for, however should you wish to have a clear-out, it can simply be placed in with your compostable rubbish and it will naturally break down.

Material samples stockists :

Materio Paris, Material Lab London, Happy Materials Prague, Material Driven London, Material Connexion New York, Neuni Shanghai, Matter London

Our company specialises in creating and developing bio-based materials. 

We research and explore methods and sustainable resources to produce new biomaterials with impeccable environmental credentials due to our emphasis on the use of wholly natural and healthy materials. We then take the journey further, developing technology to process this material to a point where we can design, mould and make it into seamless accessories and products.


We are inspired by the beauty and purity of natural materials, and by the life-cycle and ecology of the coconut palm in particular. We work in close partnership with the local coconut farmers and processing units in our region of South India who provide us with their waste coconut water, the primary resource we need to start the growth of our bacterial cellulose, which will eventually be transformed into Malai. We also collaborate with local communities of makers as well as working with suppliers whose ethical approach is transparent and verified.