Mushroom leather is the product we have been waiting on for years. Mushroom leather is sustainable, attractive, and durable. Here is a little history on mushroom leather, and where you can get this game-changing material this year!
What is Mushroom Leather?
Mushroom leather is a groundbreaking substitute for traditional animal hide leathers. It manages to closely mimic the look, feel, and durability of leather, without the ethical and environmental concerns inherent in old-fashioned leather. How does it do this? Mycelium.
Mycelium is the strong, root-like network of fibers that grow the fruiting bodies of mushrooms and other fungi. Mushroom leather brands use a combination of modern science and old-fashioned leather tanning skills to produce their material.
Mushroom leather is a brand new technology. The concept was first patented in 2015 by a pair of competing brands that had been developing the technology for nearly twenty years. Since then additional R&D has gone into producing a product that is nearly indistinguishable from animal hide, is biodegradable, has a low environmental impact growth and production process, and is entirely cruelty-free.
Who is Selling Mushroom Leather?
Currently, there is only one mushroom leather brand that has established a solid US distribution network, but they have partnered with several well-known brands to produce products that you would want to buy (and likely already do) because they are high quality, regardless of material.
Bolt Threads has licensed their product, Mylo, to several mushroom leather brands. Each of these established brands has been in the fashion industry for several years, and are known for high quality and fashionable merchandise, some vegan, and some using traditional leather.
Sir Paul McCartney is one the most famous vegetarians in the world (going so far as requiring that Lisa Simpson permanently become a vegetarian before agreeing to guest star on “The Simpsons”). It makes sense that his daughter’s fashion house would also honor his animal-friendly ideals.
Stella McCartney has a strict no cruelty policy. They do not allow any animal hides, feathers, furs, or even animal-based glues in any of their products, and they do not allow any animal testing. In addition, Stella McCartney doesn’t allow any PVC in any of their products.
Since PVC is the primary ingredient in most pleathers (slang for synthetic leather), this could make vegan leather products difficult for a fashion house to find. This makes Stella McCartney a perfect partner for mushroom leather.
Adidas has been partnered with Stella McCartney for several years for a high-end athleisure brand. This is one of the many reasons they are a perfect fit for mushroom leather. Leather athletic shoes are an industry that has needed a great vegan solution for years. The PVC synthetic leathers that have existed since the sixties just never look as good or last as long as traditional leather.
Long one of the most iconic leather sneakers in the world, and the only one to get their own Run DMC song, Adidas is the kind of classic shoe that animal lovers have wanted to offer a great vegan model for years. They are finally able to produce an attractive, fully vegan version of their all-leather low top out of mushroom leather.
A more modern athletic brand that has risen in popularity in recent years and focuses on yoga and natural health, Lululemon is a fantastic brand to offer a vegan, low environmental impact leather option.
To summarize, if you have been waiting for a vegan leather option that looks as good as the real thing, along with high-quality brands to utilize it, 2021 is going to be your year!