Leather is going out of date. Conscious consumers (yes, You!) are looking for alternatives, which are more environment, people and animal friendly, because leather is definitely not – but we will talk about it another time.
We live in age of enormous technological revolution and innovations, which leads to things that our grandparents could not even imagine and which are still blowing our parents’ minds.
This post starts our little series about "weird" plant-based textiles. How about that?
At first, lets take a closer look at mushrooms. At specific mushroom actually - Phellinus ellipsoideus - which lives in subtropical forests, as a parasite of tree trunks and it is a cause of its rotting, a specimen of which produced the largest fungal fruit body ever recorded, found in China in 2011. It was 10 m long, 80 cm wide and weighted around 500 kg. From mycelium (that part of fungus which is under the surface) of this mushroom MuSkin (Mushroom Skin) is being produced.
Under appropriate, optimal conditions fruiting body grows from mycelium – and that is what is being transformed into MuSkin. It can be grown in different shapes, sizes and width. What feeds the fungus so it can grow that big? It is simply cellulose. In just two weeks we can grow as much material as we would receive from killing an adult cow…
You would be surprise with MuSkin look, as it really might be mistaken with leather, it is 100% biodegradable, very high quality, stretchy, durable, waterproof, breathable and does not cause any allergic reaction, so it is safe when it comes to direct contact with skin. What is the most important though – process of production and dying this material does not require usage of ANY toxic substances!
All leather-associated products like bags, shoes, wallets and other accessories can be made of MuSkin. Any drawbacks? Well, production of MuSkin goes on a very low scale at the moment. But we will get there!
We live in age of over consumption. We can buy absolutely anything we want. I am waiting for the moment, when leather will not be consider as luxurious anymore. This is not a right way to follow, when animals, people and environment pay the true cost of it. Not when we have a choice. People just need to find out, that leather is not better than plant-based alternatives in no way.