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Is Mushroom-Based Leather High Fashion’s Next Big Thing?

Nikola Gemeš

December 15, 2021
Is Mushroom-Based Leather High Fashion’s Next Big Thing?

Designers and scientists have long been working on vegan leather that doesn’t harm animals and doesn’t contribute to global warming. 

It seems that now the answer lies in mushrooms, more precisely in a material called mycelium. Mushrooms and other fungi can produce it naturally within weeks and it looks and feels like calfskin.

That’s truly amazing!

EcoWatch explains that mycelium is actually a fancy word for threads that make up the vegetable part of a mushroom. And now biomaterials company MycoWorks has developed and patented a material called fine mycelium. 

statement
“Fine Mycelium engineers mycelium cells as they grow to create three dimensional structures that are densely entwined and inherently strong,” the company website explains. “Fine Mycelium is a patented process to grow materials with superior strength, durability and performance.”

So although mushroom threads are fine and weak, this 3-D structure material is tough as leather.

The new eco-friendly material has quickly found its way into the high fashion world, beginning with a Hermès Victoria bag.

This doesn’t come as a surprise, as both companies share similar visions and values. 

In the words of Hermès artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas, those are “a strong fascination with natural raw materials, and its transformation, a quest for excellence, with the aim of ensuring that objects are put to their best use”

I doubt that even microbiologists at MycoWorks could put it better. 


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