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Glossy

Mushroom Leather Isn’t Dead Yet.

Who says there’s no interest in mushroom leather? MycoWorks, a material science company that develops mushroom-based alternatives to leather, announced on August 8 that it will open the world’s first commercial-scale manufacturing facility focusing specifically on Fine Mycelium, the core, proprietary ingredient in MycoWorks’ leather alternative material, Reishi.

The new, 136,000-square-foot facility will open in September in South Carolina. It will employ 350 employees who will grow mycelium, process the threads and turn them into Reishi, all in one location. Until now, Reishi has been produced in smaller quantities in California.

Former Hermès CEO Patrick Thomas, who serves on the board of MycoWorks, said that mushroom-based leather as an idea has existed for years. The opening of this plant, however, will help the material achieve a scale that was impossible before.

“This is the moment the luxury industry has been waiting for: a plastic-free leather alternative that offers undeniable beauty and performance at scale,”  Thomas said in an email. “Now that the challenge of supply has been solved, brands will move quickly to commercialize items made with Reishi.”

MycoWorks supplies mushroom leather to Hermès, and it’s picked up fashion brand clients including Heron Preston and Nick Fouquet in the last year.

Read more of the article by Danny Parisi for Glossy.