Plant-based cruelty-free leather

We continue telling you about materials that impressed us during the last international exhibitions.

Reishi is one of them. It's a plant-based leather, fungus-grown material that looks, feels, and even smells like leather.

Founder Philip Ross started experimenting with living materials 20 years ago as an artist and chef, and eventually invented a particular method of manipulating mycelium cells to grow, weave together, and form specific shapes. His early work included large sculptures, building blocks, and furniture, and a few years ago, he teamed up with the sustainable materials company MycoWorks and scientist Matt Scullin to transform his invention into a material the fashion industry could use.

Scullin explained the process: "As the mycelium grows, we induce the cells to tangle together so we get a really strong, durable material. We can engineer it to make different versions for different applications, which you can't do with animal or plastic. Because the Reishi can be grown into exact shapes—like a bucket bag or a pair of loafers—the process also yields little to no waste."

In February 2020 MycoWorks raised $17m investments in Series A. So the future is now!