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The Atlantic

How Shoppers Got Tricked by Vegan Leather

In recent years, faux leather has had one huge thing working in its favor, however: the concerns that a growing number of Americans have with the ethics and sustainability of using animal products. This sense of consumer unease has prompted investors to pour cash into companies engineering other kinds of alternatives to animal products, including materials that imitate the look and feel of animal leathers. The result: Pleather has been rebranded as vegan leather, a phrase you can now find all over the industry.

But here’s the thing: So far, the only problem that’s been solved in fashion is one of marketing. Pleather is still pleather, and its elevation as an unalloyed good shows how easily sustainability can be wielded as a thought-terminating cliché.

One company, MycoWorks, creates leathers out of mushroom fibers without, it says, using plastics at all. MycoWorks doesn’t publicly disclose its prices for brands, but it told The New York Times that its products are comparable in cost to exotic leathers, which are much more expensive than even the most luxurious cow leathers. The company said to the Times that it believes it can eventually bring down prices as its technology becomes more advanced—a dynamic that we’ve seen play out with other technologically advanced products that eventually become commonplace, such as personal computers and electric vehicles.
Read the full article by Amanda Mull in The Atlantic.
Learn how we’re different than pleather in our YouTube video, Reishi™ vs. vegan leather.