You can do a lot with mycellium. As we’ve explored before, you can grow it into all kinds of shapes and produce packaging, which is already helping to reduce the use of plastic. If the company MycoWorks gets its way, it could also provide a substitute for leather.
Their fungi leather is grown to the shape required in just two weeks – a fraction of the time, cost and environmental impact of animal leather, and with no animal welfare concerns. The mycelium grows on waste such as straw, so it’s a hybrid agricultural/industrial process that, if you’ll pardon the expression, fits squarely into a circular economy.
It’s early days yet, and their material is some way from commercial availability. But the technique has been proven with packaging materials, so I suspect we may be hearing more about mycoleather in future. I’ll be keeping an eye on this one, and if you’d like to do the same, click on over and follow MycoWorks on Twitter.