A new review article, from an international team of material scientists, is suggesting a leather-like material made from mushroom-derived biomass has the potential to be cheaper and more environmentally sustainable than animal leather or its plastic derivations. 

“We tend to think of synthetic leather, sometimes known as ‘vegan leather’, as being better for the environment,” says Alexander Bismarck, from the University of Vienna and co-author on the new review article.

According to Bismarck, fungal leather alternatives couldn’t eventually replace animal leather in many consumer products.

“Substantial advances in fungi-based leathers and the growing number of companies that are producing them suggests that this new material will play a considerable role in the future of ethically and environmentally responsible fabrics,” adds Bismarck.

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