ESPD55

Ethnopharmacologic Search For Psychoactive Drugs

Symposium Livestream

23 - 26 May 2022
ATTEND

Livestream Symposium23-26 May 202223-26 MayATTEND
2 Dec 2021

The Guardian: Californian firm touts ‘mushroom leather’ as sustainability gamechanger

Vegan alternatives to leather could save more than just animals. The scientists behind fashion’s new latest must-have – the “mushroom leather” handbag – believe that mycelium, a material grown from fungi which can be engineered to look and feel like calfskin or sheepskin, could help save the planet.

 

Speaking to the Guardian before a talk at the Business of Fashion Voices conference in Oxfordshire, Dr Matt Scullin, CEO of biomaterials company MycoWorks, forecast that mushroom leather could be a sustainability gamechanger, “unlocking a future of design which begins with the material, not with the object”.

 

Fine Mycelium, a patented material which can be grown from fungi in trays in a matter of weeks, replicates the appearance and feel of leather while outperforming it in strength and durability. The material recently made its high fashion debut as an exclusive Hermès handbag.

 

“It can give the same emotional response as an animal leather. It has that hand-feel of rarity,” says Scullin. On a planet of finite natural resources, Scullin believes both the technology and the mindset of carbon-neutral, grown-to-order mushroom leather could be “revolutionary” – and have implications for innovation in manufacture beyond fashion.


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