Gamechanger? Scientists reveal cruelty-free 'mushroom leather'

WION Web Team
California, United StatesUpdated: Dec 03, 2021, 06:22 PM IST
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Mushroom leather is the latest way to make cruelty-free leather handbags. Photograph:(Twitter)

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Experts found that mycelium, which is a material grown from fungi, can be prepared in a way to make it look like calfskin or sheepskin

Fashion industry has been trying to find more animal-friendly options in the recent past. Experts have been rallying to find options which look good, are of high quality and also do not harm animals. Latest development in this is a vegan alternative to leather.

Scientists have discovered that the 'mushroom leather' handbag is a must-have for all fashion enthusiasts, especially the ones who have been promoting animal-friendly and cruelty-free world.

Experts found that mycelium, which is a material grown from fungi, can be prepared in a way to make it look like calfskin or sheepskin. This can become a good alternative to leather, while making sure the products remain cruelty-free.

"It can give the same emotional response as an animal leather. It has that hand-feel of rarity," Dr Matt Scullin, CEO of biomaterials company MycoWorks told the Guardian. Experts also believe that this can be a game-changer in the fashion industry and this discovery can unlock a "future of design which begins with the material, not with the object".

Scullin discussed this idea at the Business of Fashion Voices conference in Oxfordshire. The expert talked about how this discovery is a mixture of carbon-neutral dream and optimum use of technology, which makes it 'revolutionary'.

However, designers are worried that this new product will be more expensive than the normal leather as the material is not very accessible in terms of prices right now. "We are working with luxury fashion first because they are ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability," says Scullin. "These are brands which are in a position to think big and to think long term."

"I am excited to support the fashion world in its efforts to become more sustainable. There is so much potential in fungi to overcome some of the problems we face," said Merlin Sheldrake, author of Entangled Lives: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds, and Shape Our Futures, who was also present at the conference. Sheldrake describes this idea as a platform for “fungi as an analogy for thinking creatively, and sustainably".

(With inputs from agencies)