The 'mushroom leather', from fiction to reality

The 'mushroom leather', from fiction to reality

(Etx Daily Up) - Is the fungus (really) in the process of revolutionizing the fashion industry?Not content with having seduced some of the largest luxury houses, including Hermès, the start-up Mycoworks has just raised 125 million dollars which should allow it to massage its now famous' mushroom leather ''.This alternative to animal leather could become the predilection material for industry players.

The year 2021 was punctuated by the marketing of new accessories and clothing, mainly sneakers and leather goods, more sustainable and environmentally friendly.To do this, the fashion industry has turned to more durable alternatives to so -called animal leather.Cactus, banana, corn, apple, grapes, or pineapple, to name a few, are today among the alternatives proposed by brands to minimize or even delete, the use of animal leather.Although very qualitative, these candidates were however robbed of the star by an unexpected material, the fungus, which was quickly unanimous with the largest houses, starting with Hermès and Stella McCartney.

If the 'mushroom leather' has so far only rare incursions on the shelves of certain luxury houses, as well as some ready-to-wear and sportswear giants, it could soon become the new material whosebrands will no longer be able to do without.This is in any case what the latest fundraising - $ 125 million - of the Biotechnology Company MyCoworks, one of the pioneers in this area, suggests, which will be used to launch the first production plantFine mycelium scale, its innovative technology on which its mycelium -based materials are based, a vegetative part of the fungo formed by filaments, including Reishi.

Le 'cuir de champignon', de la fiction à la réalité

Characteristics similar to leather

Thanks to its fine patented mycelium process, MyCoworks ensures that it can produce natural materials offering the same characteristics as animal leather, with a lesser environmental impact.A technology that seems to have won the most prominent leather worker on the planet, Hermès, who collaborated with MyCoworks to develop a first bag partially composed of fibers of mushrooms.

The new installation of MyCOWORKS, nestled in South Carolina, will be based on the semi-automated pilot factory of the company in California, in activity for a year, and could make it possible to produce several hundred thousands of square meters of its fine materialMycelium per year, as the start-up itself underlines in a press release.After Hermès, MyCOWORKS knows that she already has contracts in place with "several major global luxury brands", without specifying the names, and that this large -scale production could make prices of products based on its wellmore accessible than at present.

Note, moreover, that MyCOWORKS is not the only start-up to have embarked on the race for 'mushroom leather'.The start-up Bolt Threads it at the origin of Mylo, a material also made from mycelium.From the fall of 2020, fashion giants like Adidas, Stella McCartney and Kering set their sights on this technology for - too - offer more ethical and lasting collections.Not to mention other houses, like Gucci, stand out by developing their own vegan and sustainable leather.

For its part, the National Leather Council (CNC) has already recalled many times that these alternatives, whatever they are, should not be called "leather"."Today, many emerging materials are called, wrongly, 'leather', because visually similar, and thus benefit from the qualitative image of the latter.The term 'leather' refers to a material with specific properties and qualities and must therefore be reserved for the sole designation of the material leather resulting from the tank of the skin of an animal ".If they are designed in mushroom, the bags and shoes of tomorrow will therefore have to be another name.