Leather is not eco-friendly, ethical, or sustainable, but now many other leather alternatives are coming out, like apple leather and mushroom leather!

Source: DW News/Youtube

Mushroom leather is made from, you guessed it, mushrooms. Mushroom leather is vegan, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. The leather alternative is made from mycelium, the underground root structure of mushrooms. Mycelium is a network of filaments that form underground thread-like structures. Mycelium can is extremely beneficial for the environment, and mushrooms take very little water to grow compared to other foods.

The animal industry creates an incredible amount of emissions, and many chemicals are needed to produce leather. The chemicals and emissions go into our air and waterways, which is one of the driving forces behind climate change.

Mushroom leather is made by selecting and moisturizing the right substrate, according to The Vou. Substrates are the materials that mushrooms use as food and where they grow, like wood chips, straw, corn, and other materials. The substrate is then dampened, put into a bag, and pasteurized to kill interfering bacteria so that the mushrooms can grow quickly and uninterrupted.

Once the mycelium grows, it is inserted into the bags, and the fungi start the colonize. Growing takes little water and energy and can take between two to three weeks. Once it’s ready, the mycelium is compressed into the shape and size needed.

This, however, is not the only way to make mushroom leather, and experts continue to find new ways to make this leather alternative better and with fewer resources. Mushroom leather can help fight plastic pollution, animal welfare, and climate change. It is biodegradable, and many mycelium technology companies have been collaborating with big fashion brands for this leather alternative.

Mushroom leather proves that there can be more ethical and sustainable alternatives to leather that could even come from very unlikely sources like mushrooms. The leather alternative industry is skyrocketing, and now it’s hard to justify purchasing cruel leather that is connected to the suffering and killing of billions of animals.

According to PETA, the leather industry kills more than one billion animals every year. We hope leather alternatives will continue to gain popularity. Companies are finally taking a stand against fur, why not leather? 

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