Mycelium: Sustainable Future Fabric from Fungus
No, not those kind of mushrooms...
MycoWorks & Bolt Threads are two San Francisco based start-ups leading the way in developing sustainable vegan leather alternatives out of lab grown fungi. The key ingredient in the brand's new fabric products is Mycelium.
According to our EXTENSIVE Wikipedia research, Mycelium is:
"... the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. The mass of hyphae is sometimes called shiro, especially within the fairy ring fungi. Fungal colonies composed of mycelium are found in and on soil and many other substrates. A typical single spore germinates into a monokaryotic mycelium, which cannot reproduce sexually; when two compatible monokaryotic mycelia join and form a dikaryotic mycelium, that mycelium may form fruiting bodies such as mushrooms. A mycelium may be minute, forming a colony that is too small to see, or may grow to span thousands of acres as in Armillaria."
Ok, so: vegans + the underground part of mushrooms x science = the ethical sustainable future of leather without the cruelty or environmental impact.
The fabric which is currently offered in brown and black variants, is lab grown in California and finished in Europe with chrome-free tanning.
Bolt Threads calls their mycelium based product Mylo and claims the sustainable material can be lab grown in weeks to meet desired properties of the end user.
We don't yet know when we can get our hands on these new lab grown vegan leather mycelium based alternatives, or what we will make with them once we do, but...