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Friday, June 9, 2023

Mushroom fashion: Mushrooms are used as an alternative to animal skins

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In the west, where cattle ranches have long faltered, cowhide can lose its luster.

“You can’t grow a cow to specifications,” MycoWorks co-founder Sophia Wang. “Cows just do what they do. So that’s the remarkable thing about a natural material that you can grow to form.”

An alternative to animal skins, made from mushrooms, under the supervision of Bay Area technicians. The all-natural, plant-based alternative has no environmental concerns or possible cruelty to animal skins.

Bolt theme is one of the few companies that fabricates mushroom skins through mycelium, the underground network of filaments that are the basis of fungi. By partnering with companies like Lululemon, Stella McCartney and AdidasThe company is turning to what their plant-based leather can do.

Mushroom skin, an alternative to raw animal hides, has been used in products designed by Lululemon, Stella McCartney and Adidas.

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But for now, expect to pay a premium for this experimental replacement. “It’s an extraordinary material,” said Bolt Threads co-founder & CTO David Breslauer. “Everyone loves their leather goods, whether it’s their clothes or their car.”

Reporter Lilia Luciano asked, “What do you think the trajectory of this is? Will it replace the skin?”

Breslauer replied: “Sustainability will come from replacing the way we use a lot of leather. “It doesn’t mean the skins will go away, but we can’t continue to scale the herd to serve the population.”

Breslauer is approaching the problem from a scientist’s perspective. Leather is a huge industry to take on, he said, but the fashion world is always open to innovation, especially the kind that help fight climate change: “The less we raise industrial cows, the more we grow them. We have less emissions,” Breslauer said. “So this is a huge impact on climate change and for almost all the big fashion brands. The biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions is from cows making leather. And there’s deforestation, biodiversity loss, ecological collapse – the list goes on and more.”

But for consumers to use mushroom skin, it needs to be strong, durable, usable and – most importantly – look and feel like the real thing.

One of the freshest ideas in fashion comes from mycelium, the fiber that forms the basis of mushrooms – a plant-based option that manufacturers claim is durable and free of concerns. environment or possible cruelty to animal skins.

Bolt theme

Beatrice Amblard, a leather craftsman with four decades of experience, says this is in line with the trend toward finding plant-based alternatives to what we eat and wear. “I believe people are ready for change, they are ready for innovation,” she said. “For me, combining old techniques with biomaterials is an incredible opportunity.”

Describing the feeling of working with fungus skin, Amblard said, “This is amazing. It’s an unbelievable feeling. It combines the two.”

She works with MycoWorks, another Bay Area company whose fashion industry doubles as a profit.

Wang, and her MycoWorks co-founder, Phil Ross, have been pushing the boundaries of leather since 2003. They’re proprietary. Ganoderma lucidum appear close to reality. “I see this material working everywhere the skin goes,” says Wang.

Luciano asked, “What tests are you guys doing to make sure it’s durable?”

“We do a quick wear test, exposing Reishi to the elements just to prove that the material can compete with leather in terms of durability, strength and resistance,” Wang replied. .

A Hermes Victoria handbag, made in alternative leather by MycoWorks.


Their products find purpose, from life-saving panels interwoven with bulletproof Kevlar, to incorporating electrical conductors in fibers, allowing for a “smart” design that connects to devices. Your gear and even leather upholstered with gold thread, redefine luxury.

“We work with our partners to really develop our materials for those custom needs, which is not something you can do with any natural material,” says Wang. other.”

She says that if you can think of a luxury brand, they’ve probably worked with them – like Hermes, the high priest of French leather products. Company worked with the brand upstairs on an iconic bag in 2021.

All point to a future where guilt-free fashion can become the norm. And instead of the traditional leather on your back, or on your hands, we’ll make room for… mushrooms.

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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