Clothes made from… mushrooms! An alternative to leather

“Leather” made from mushrooms is a new, more environmentally friendly alternative to commonly used materials. Dutch brand YUME YUME has created the world’s first collection of clothing made from mushroom Reishi™ leather. The collection was presented at the Buro Stedelijk art exhibition building in Amsterdam. The brand wants to revolutionise the manufacturers’ approach to eco-friendly materials and show that it is possible to successfully swap leather for a new material.

The set, consisting of a coat, shoes and hat, is an art installation of sorts. For the time being, the clothes presented are not available for purchase, although all the pieces in the set are existing YUME YUME products. The thing is that in the new version, the vegan leather in their composition has been replaced by the mushroom material Reishi™.

The Fisherman Boots, Grown by Nature coat and Mushroom Hat made from Reishi™ look a little more interesting than their vegan counterparts. The material has been modified to make the mushroom skin softer and brighter. In addition, the texture of the mushroom garments appears to be rougher than the original.

The creation of the collection is to showcase the capabilities of the Fine Mycelium™ material. The look of the set of clothes is intended to present the modernity and eco-friendliness of fashion. The designers want Reishi™ clothing to become widely available in the future.

The mushroom future

YUME YUME is a young brand that makes creative use of modern technology. One of the technological innovations is the aforementioned reishi mushroom skin, created by biotech company MycoWorks. MycoWorks’ mushroom inventions had their beginnings back in the late 1990s, with artist and company co-founder Philip Ross creating art installations using the reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lingzh). The ease of forming the desired shape of the mushroom using biotechnology, made the reishi mushroom an innovative material. After almost 20 years of research, the material Fine Mycelium™ – a skin made from the fungus – was created.

According to MycoWorks, mushroom leather is not another type of eco-skin, but a completely new alternative to zoonotic leather. The properties of Fine Mycelium™ depend on the breeder. It is possible to grow a thicker and more durable material or a thinner material with more flexibility. The Fine Mycelium™ breeder can manipulate the thickness, texture, flexibility, softness of the material in any way they wish. There are many more options for modifying the properties and form of the material. Fine Mycelium™ is also fully biodegradable, unlike polyester eco-leather. In this way, the brand seeks to draw attention to the need for a more environmentally friendly approach to garment production.

Currently, the mushroom leather is grown in the laboratory under the guidance of bioengineers. However, it is possible that in a few years Fine Mycelium™ will be a mass-produced material

Photo source: YUME YUME

Read also: Technology | Exhibition | Interesting facts | Collection | Fashion | Amsterdam | Netherlands | Ecology| whiteMAD on Instagram

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