Reishi is the non-plastic, non-animal material that MycoWorks says is an “entirely new option for leather”.
This week, MycoWorks announced it had raised $17 million in Series A funding, which will allow the company to manufacture enough Reishi to meet the rising demand for sustainable vegan-friendly materials.
According to McKinsey’s State of Fashion report, this demand is continually increasing. They found that 3 in 4 Millennials and 66% of overall respondents, considered sustainability when buying luxury items. This is no fad that can be overlooked, as figures such as this nod to a complete shift in consumer habits.
“Just as alternatives to meat have recently taken the food industry by storm, consumers are also looking for natural, non-animal materials to wear. With incredible aesthetics, feel and performance, Reishi is the result of an entirely new and scalable manufacturing process that fills a clear need in the market,” said Matt Scullin, CEO of MycoWorks.
Reishi is already used in many European luxury and footwear brands. The leather alternative uses the company’s Fine Mycelium technology to “provide brands with the same performance, quality and aesthetics as leather.”
However, its customisability, according to MycoWorks, opens up new product design opportunities not afforded by animal leather.
The company plans to open a third production facility in the near future as part of the production scale-up.