Most of us remember Lady Gaga's infamous meat dress. If you don't, at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, Gaga wore a dress designed by Franc Fernandez that was made of RAW BEEF. It was one of the craziest fashion moments I have ever seen. To this day, it still ranks in the top 5. Interestingly, that moment was named by Time magazine as the top fashion statement of 2010. Needless to say, animal rights activists were not happy.
It would be hard to find someone who would wear a dress made of raw beef. But would you wear one made of mushrooms? This could be a legit option very soon.
Producing animal leather is very taxing on the environment, from the cattle farming, to the pollution, to the toxic chemicals used in production, to the vast amounts of water used. Animal leather production produces a lot of waste. So finding alternative ways to make "leather" has been a mission for many in the sustainable fashion space. Well, now it looks like we may be able to wear mushroom related products very soon. Two US based companies have been researching ways to make vegan leather by using mushrooms. Here are the highlights from the article I read on the World Economic Forum:
- Mushrooms can be grown very efficiently - they do not require light and they can turn waste into useful materials.
- A single spore to finished product of mushroom, or fungi, leather only takes a couple of weeks, as opposed to the time it takes to raise a whole cow.
- This process can be scaled for mass production, which means that over time it can be made available to a large number of people at a reasonable price point.
- The process of making mushroom, or fungi, leather is very simple, does not require a lot of equipment, and can be done by artisans, which is great news.
Handbag made by Bolt Threads using fungi leather
Research and exploration of this process continues. This is still a relatively new concept but it looks very promising. This is the kind of innovation that we need as we move toward becoming more sustainable as a collective group.
I gave you the cliff notes version of the article I read. For more information and details, click here.
"think slow. shop smart. dress well.