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Fungi are the future of fashion, they will replace leather soon

Fungi fashion; In a culture where we believe that having more means greater social achievement, and at time when we should all be questioning

By Wahid Bhat
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fungi is the future leather

In a culture where we believe that having more means greater social achievement, and at a time when we should all be questioning the point of no return in the looming ecological crisis, no one sets limits on what is produced; nor what will happen to the waste that this generates or the resources that they consume.

Trees have a lot to teach us about climate change, and this has to do directly with fungi. As seen in the Netflix documentary, Fantastic Mushrooms, among this network of mycelium that is organized underground are the roots of the trees, and they are organized as a kind of "internet of plants" to send messages that promote their survival.

Many times when we talk about sustainability, climate change, caring for the planet, and biodiversity, the issue of the interconnection between species and the balance that ecosystems need to appear recurrently.

And there is no way to deny it, everything on our planet is interrelated and that is the key to understanding why we urgently need to face the climate crisis.

The rise of mushroom leather

After years of experimentation and development, bags, shoes, and coats are now being created with "mushroom skin" or rather "mycelium skin" and we can finally as consumers buy these new accessories thanks to designers such as Stella McCartney, Hermés, and Balenciaga.

It is the big fashion houses like theirs who are betting and testing whether this material could really be used and sold on a massive scale. 

Made by startups like Bolt Threads and Myco Works, mycelium fur holds promise for the fashion industry as more brands are looking for alternatives to plastic and animals, and user demand for it is constantly increasing to find products that are friendlier to the planet and animals. But getting an idea from the labs to the store floor takes a lot of time and testing.

Mushroom skin is a material that even by name is already controversial. It is a sustainable alternative to animal skin, made from the structure and roots of fungi known as mycelium. And they have found a solution to create this new material that mimics the properties of the skin. 

Is fungi the future of fashion?

Fungi are increasingly being explored as a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials used in fashion, such as leather and cotton. The Fungi can be grown using agricultural waste and can also be grown in controlled environments, reducing the impact of farming on the environment.

Fungi can also be manipulated to produce materials with specific properties, such as durability, water resistance, and flexibility, making them a versatile and customizable option for fashion.

However, it is still early days for fungi in fashion, and there are challenges that need to be overcome, such as scaling up production and ensuring consistency in the materials produced.

A verified vegan leather (one that won't raise the same concerns as polyurethane compound or polyvinyl chloride), Mylo is flexible, biodegradable, and made using 100% renewable energy in just a few days. Now let's understand what is Mylo.

What is Mylo?

Mylo is a plant-based innovation and sustainable alternative to leather made from mycelium, the vegetative part of mushrooms. Mycelium cells are grown in a nutrient-rich environment until they form a durable and flexible material that has similar properties to leather. The material can be treated and finished to give it a variety of textures and colors.

Mylo is an eco-friendly and sustainable material that can be produced with a much lower environmental impact than traditional leather.

It is made from renewable resources and is produced using less water and fewer chemicals than traditional leather. Additionally, Mylo does not require the use of animal hides, which reduces the environmental impact of livestock farming.

Mylo is an exciting example of how plant-based materials can be used to create innovative and sustainable alternatives to traditional materials, meeting the increasing demand for eco-friendly and sustainable products in the fashion industry.

Beyond friendly to the environment

In addition to reducing environmental impact, mycelium leather has caught the attention of the luxury market due to its quality and texture, which is soft as butter and so supple that Hermès, known for its leather, is already making bags out of it.

Fungi-based materials have the potential to be more environmentally friendly than traditional materials used in fashion.

Here are some reasons why:

  • Low carbon footprint: Fungi can be grown using agricultural waste, reducing the need for additional resources such as land, water, and energy. This means that the carbon footprint of fungi-based materials can be much lower than other materials.
  • Biodegradability: Fungi-based materials are biodegradable and can be easily composted, which reduces waste and pollution compared to non-biodegradable materials like plastic.
  • Less chemical use: Unlike traditional materials like leather, fungi-based materials do not require toxic chemicals such as chromium to be processed.
  • Closed-loop production: Fungi-based materials can be produced in a closed-loop system, meaning that waste from the production process can be reused or recycled, reducing waste and environmental impact.
  • Sustainability: Fungi-based materials are sustainable and eco-friendly. They can be grown using agricultural waste and do not require the same resources as traditional materials like leather or cotton. Their production process generates minimal waste and can be done in a closed-loop system, reducing their environmental impact.
  • Versatility: Fungi-based materials can be manipulated to create materials with specific properties such as flexibility, durability, and water resistance. This means that they can be used to create a wide variety of fashion items, from clothing to accessories, with unique textures and patterns.
  • Innovation: Fungi-based materials are a new and innovative alternative to traditional fashion materials. By using fungi, designers can create a new aesthetic that sets them apart from traditional fashion items.
  • Consumer demand: There is an increasing demand for sustainable and eco-friendly fashion items from consumers who are aware of the impact of traditional fashion materials on the environment. Fungi-based materials have the potential to meet this demand.

With agriculture, a major contributor to global warming, deforestation and water pollution, fungi are a significant and promising development that provides evidence that the industry can adapt if it chooses.

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