According to researchers from Vienna, a new process for preparing skin with fungi is more sustainable than skin from animal or fossil fuels.
Imitation leather has been around for a long time and is made of plastic. It comes from fossil fuels and is not biodegradable. Making skin from a cohort is not an environmentally friendly process.
Researchers from University of London Wein, Imperial College and RMIT University of Australia Found a more stable alternative Made of fungi. Printed leather feels and looks like normal leather – similar to standard synthetic leather – but there are many more benefits, says Professor Alexander Bismarck. Harmful chemicals such as real leather tanning are not used in production. Furthermore, very little greenhouse gases are released and the final product is completely biodegradable.
For example, fungal skins can be made from cheap residual productive sawdust from agriculture and forestry. Also, a fungus that picks it up creates long hyphens to form a larger skin. Within a few weeks the fungal skin is often dense and will be harvested. The trick is to get a good area with equal thickness, color and strength.
Bismarck and his colleague Mitchell Jones expect print leather to be of particular interest to eco-leather consumers and companies and people looking for organic alternatives. Bismarck says more and more companies are developing fungal-based skin substitutes. “This suggests that the new material will play an important role in the increasing importance of acoustic products in terms of ethics and environment in the future.”
Text: Juliska Wijesman
Photos: Anthony Candia
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