Mushrooms Are the New Responsible Leather

For generations, people have searched for a biodegradable, responsible, natural, and vegan alternative to leather for fashion. A new alternative is going to be available in the industry with the creation of mycelium leather products. In the article, The Next Leather Jacket Will Be Made from Mushrooms, Phil Ross, artist and founder of Mycoworks, discusses how he is bringing the art of growing leather from mushrooms over to fashion.
Mycoworks is creating a leather-like product from the skin of mushrooms, called mycelium. Ross has been working with mycelium as a medium for his art for thirty years. Through his fascination with reichi mushrooms, which he originally used for medicine, he discovered that it is easy to manipulate and create texture and patterns in the skin of the plant by changing what you feed it or by altering the environment the plant is growing in.
He has been able to produce furniture and faux stone from mycelium and eventually realized that he could also grow a leather-like product from the mushrooms that was comparable to many of the leathers used in the fashion industry. He has produced leather with alligator, ostrich, and other luxury textures that are popular in modern fashions and hopes to make the mycelium leather an alternative to animal hide for health and ethical reasons.
The mycelium leather products are perfect for fashion because they can be manipulated as they grow to take on nearly any texture or shape. Mycoworks has also been able to add zippers and other hardware to the leather while it grows, in order to attach it naturally and permanently instead of sewing it on later. Ross also claims that it can be molded and shaped more easily than cow hide, but he is working on creating a mycelium leather product that is closer to the look and feel of cow hide since it is the most popular leather used.
Your next leather jacket may have a surprise up its sleeve. Just imagine the faces of people when they complement your jacket and you inform them that it’s made from mushrooms. You will feel great wearing it, knowing that it came from a sustainable, biodegradable, and responsible source that doesn’t involve cruelty or the mistreatment of animals.