We celebrate Fashion Revolution Week as the perfect time to review not only “Who made my clothes?” but also “What are my clothes made of?”. At Life Cykel, we are excited to share our new project, the development of a vegan mushroom leather will help contribute to a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.
Fashion Revolution Week is an extremely important opportunity for consumers to demand brands for transparency about who made their clothes and under what conditions. Fair trade and insurance of human rights are non- negotiable. But it’s also time to take a step further, and seriously start questioning what materials are being used in our clothes and how do they impact on the planet.
It’s no secret that the global fashion industry is in crisis, being the second largest toxic chemical polluter and the third largest contributor to landfill waste. The industry is facing not only an environmental disaster, but also the complete exhaustion of most natural resources by 2030, with subsequently effect on rising costs.
As a co-product of livestock industry, the production of animal leather is costly and wasteful, and has noticeable environmental impact due to the usage and release of chemicals from the leather to water bodies, increasing biological oxygen demand, and endangering the lives of humans and animals dependent on the source. Polyurethane (PU) synthetic leather, extensively used in clothing and automotive industries, is no better being a petroleum based product.
Mushroom leather will play a key role in the evolution of fashion as it becomes a more sustainable and ethical industry.
Our sustainable non-animal based leather is a biotechnology solution developed from mycelium (root fibres of mushrooms), one of nature’s most abundant resources and a natural strong fibre. It is a carefully engineered fibre with flexible properties. Mushroom leather resembles suede but is much softer, breathable and naturally water-resistant.
It can easily be shaped into various forms to manufacture any type of accessory or clothes, and it can be dyed using non-toxic methods, unlike the process animal leather goes through, which also makes it suitable for direct contact with human skin.
The technique to make homemade mushroom leather from a mushroom called Amadou has been around for centuries and some companies around the world are still producing this way. For the past year, at Life Cykel we’ve been researching to improve these techniques with different types of mushrooms and obtain the best mushroom leather quality. We are currently in conversations with a number of fashion labels and designers who are prototyping our mushroom leather. We estimate to begin commercial production by the beginning of next year.
We can’t wait to share our mushroom leather with everyone and see fashion brands using it as a natural resource to make their clothes. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest updates and find out when our mushroom leather will be released!