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The range and availability of leather alternatives have made finding a cruelty-free alternative to leather bags, wallets, shoes, and just about anything you could think of, incredibly easy. Bolt Threads is one company championing faux leather created in an especially fascinating way – its Mylo material is made from mycelium, the underground root structure of mushrooms. The company is now debuting an exciting new product that will soon have the chance to become a staple for many – a spacious handbag called the Mylo™ Driver Bag.

The Driver Bag is the world’s first commercially available product made from the Mylo faux leather. To enable the production of the bag and make the product widely available, the creators have started a Kickstarter page where you can make a pledge and be the first to own one of the bags once they are ready. The tote is unisex, large enough to fit in all necessities and more, and has a unique design. As stated by the brand, it “represents the future of accessories, combining innovative and cultivated materials with high-quality design.”

The bag was designed in collaboration with the brand Chester Wallace. Each tote is hand-cut and sewn in Portland, Oregon and constructed entirely from the Mylo material with a canvas base. According to the manufacturers’ plans, the first bags could be delivered to project backers in spring 2019.

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Mycelium, the organism used to make the eco-leather, grows underground and forms large networks of threads to help recycle organic matter on the forest floor and provide nutrients to plants. The mycelium fabrication technology was pioneered by Ecovative and now allows Mylo to create interesting products that look like hand-crafted leather and share its qualities.

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The Mylo material is an example of how more ethical and sustainable alternatives to leather can come from very unlikely sources. The variety of faux leather now includes materials of such high quality that it is difficult to justify still choosing the option that is inextricably connected with the suffering and killing of animals. According to PETA, the leather industry’s toll is more than one billion animals every year. Hopefully, leather alternatives will carry on gaining popularity as high-quality materials, including in the high fashion industry which has recently been applauded for taking a stand against the use of fur.

You can learn more about the project and make a pledge here.

All image source: Bolt Threads/Facebook