Mushroom leather: a step towards sustainable leather

In the race to find a viable, non-plastic alternative to animal leather, due to the increasing environmental and ethical concerns, enter mycelium leather, or mushroom leather.

By: Emma Perkins

Mycelium leather is made from the complex, thread-like roots of mushrooms and is a highly attractive commodity in terms of renewable fashion – it thrives in the wild, it is regenerative and simply needs mulch, air and water to grow. The end result is a sustainable vegan leather that is almost identical to traditional leather in look and feel.

The new material is now being picked up by big fashion names, with Hermes creating a mycelium version of their iconic Victoria bag alongside biotechnology company MycoWorks. Similarly, products from Stella McCartney, Adidas, Lululemon and Gucci’s parent company Kering, in partnership with mycelium developer Mylo, are in the works, expected to be released this year.

Mycelium leather, as well as similar products such as kombucha leather, is an incredible development, as fashion can move away from animal leather and plastic-based vegan leather. The question is, does leather made of mushrooms take away from the luxury of a leather item, or does the type of leather not matter?

 

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