Science is creating new life-changing products every day. Some of these products are designed to make our lives easier, some are to improve the overall quality of our lives, and some are to make our lives more sustainable.
Mycelium leather is the rare product that does all of the above.
Mycelium Leather is a vegan, sustainable substitute for traditional leather that performs like real leather. It is flexible enough to be used in jackets and purses, and strong enough to be used for shoes.
Mycelium Leather is Strong
Mycelium is the fibrous substrate that grows below the surface of the ground that mushrooms grow out of, which is why it is often called mushroom leather. The proteins that make up mycelium are the same material as crab shells.
Those fibers make mycelium super strong. By taking these fibers and pressing them, then treating and tanning them, you get a material that has a comparable strength to traditional leather. This material is then embossed to resemble true leather.
Mycelium Leather is Cruelty-Free
Traditional leather is many things: Beautiful, strong, and versatile. Traditional leather also requires the death of animals to produce it. In our modern system, that means more than just the death of those animals, it requires dependence on a factory farming system that engenders cruelty at every level.
Mycelium leather lets you get the benefits of a realistic leather product that doesn’t require anything to die.
Mycelium Leather is Sustainable
Perhaps the best argument for mycelium leather is that it is one of the most environmentally sound options to replace leather.
Traditional leather obviously requires cows to die in order to make it. The environmental impact of industrial cattle farming cannot be overstated. A 2,000-pound cow drinks a lot of water. The corn needed to raise that animal also requires water, for a long period of time.
The most widely used substitute for leather is not much better. Plastic and rubber-based synthetic leathers use a fabric substrate for strength, and then top it with a layer of embossed rubber or petroleum-based plastic to replicate the look and feel of leather.
Unfortunately, rubber farms typically lead to clear-cutting of the rainforests, and petroleum-based plastics release chemicals and greenhouse gases in their production, along with the environmental impact of drilling and transporting that oil.
Mycelium leather is substantially better for the environment than traditional leather or synthetics. Mushrooms do require water to grow, but they grow extremely quickly. Against the amount of water and the duration of the need to raise even a single cow, there is no comparison on the environmental impact.
Since mycelium leather is a natural product, it is also completely biodegradable. Mycelium leather is durable, but unlike plastic-based leather, it won’t spend a thousand years in a landfill if it is eventually discarded.
Mycelium Leather Is Durable
While many substitutes for traditional leather might look good when initially purchased, most of them do not wear well.
Synthetic leathers look worse with every scuff or scrape. They can bubble and stretch over time, and the layers can separate from exposure to too much moisture.
Mycelium leather ages like true leather. As it gets worn, touched, and scuffed, it develops an aged patina, like your favorite leather jacket or old pair of boots that just looks better every time you wear it.
In summary, Mycelium leather is the perfect replacement for leather. It looks and feels very much like true leather, but without its shortcomings. Mycelium leather is durable, sustainable, and you can wear it without feeling guilty about taking the life of another animal.