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Nova Milan Launches Innovation Center in Costa Rica

Nova Milan Launches Innovation Center in Costa Rica

  • Nova Milan launches the first Innovation Center featuring an ESG plant-based economy produced with pineapple, banana, and coconut waste.
  • The company will develop vegan leather from organic residue.
San José, July 2, 2021. Nova Milan opened its first Innovation Center, located in Alajuela, Costa Rica this Wednesday, an initial first stage of the company's project in the country. With an initial investment of US$1.1 million and its first 15 employees, the center will highlight Nova Milan's plant leather, sustainable fabrics and bioplastics produced from organic plant waste such as banana, coconut, yuca and pineapple.

Headquartered in Costa Rica and founded by world-renowned architect and designer Irma Orenstein, along with her partner tech entrepreneur Karim Quazzani, Nova Milan has developed proprietary technology to solve one of the world’s biggest challenges: plant waste.

In line with Costa Rica's focus on sustainable development and contribution towards global SDGs, Nova Milan will leverage this waste to create a wide array of products, most notably the world’s nearly petroleum-free plant leathers, sustainable fabrics and bio-plastics. Just in Costa Rica alone, over 20 million tons of plant waste are created annually which impact the environment and the communities nearby.

The company's technology makes the right fit with Costa Rica's environmental focus where 99% of its electricity comes from renewables, thus driving together the advancement of the circular economy.

"Nova Milan is an innovative company that strengthens Costa Rica’s position as a green and sustainable country for doing business with purpose. We wish all the best and expect that the company promotes wellbeing in Costa Rica”, commented Pedro Beirute, General Manager of Procomer, Costa Rica's Exports Promotion Agency (PROCOMER).

“We believe that these materials for the fashion and lifestyle industry will displace what is used today,” commented Ms. Orenstein. “Leather is the past and today's ethical consumer is looking for real vegan leather created from nature and that's why we are here“.

For Karim Quazzani, the co-founder and CEO of Nova Milan, the most important part of the company is being passionate about its ESG principles; Environmentally and Socially responsible, with inclusive and transparent Governance practices. “We believe that it is essential we invest our time and money in the people and the planet to make the world a better place”, Quazzani commented.

“Sustainable development belongs to Costa Rica’s core as it is within our triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Prosperity. At CINDE, we also aim for investment projects that enhance a dynamic circular economy like this Nova Milan initiative, an example of reutilizing pineapple waste to produce vegan leather. These types of innovations promote the SDGs and boost a new wave of new materials,” affirmed Eric Scharf, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CINDE.

In addition to creating a plant-based economy, Ms. Orenstein and Mr. Quazzani plans to have an impact on issues that are very close to their core values; bettering the environment, empowering women and creating international relations with countries.

“We want the women who work with us to be proud of themselves because they are making Costa Rica the plant leather capital of the world,” commented Ms. Orenstein.
About Nova Milan

Nova Milan's mission is to turn Costa Rica into the leader of the plant-based economy movement by building the first plant-based ecosystem in the world, creating opportunities for entrepreneurs with environmental ethics.
Nova Milan is here for brands and industries seeking ethical sustainability with scalable sources and designed to supply the rise in global demand for premium vegan-based leather which is expected to hit 89b by 2025.

Nova Milan is looking for profiles related to human resources, finance, quality, supply chain, engineering and production. In addition, it is hiring personnel for production processes and technical maintenance. If you are interested in applying to the jobs, send your resume to