Mushroom Leather Shoes for Kids – Inspired by Nature

Squirrels love munching on mushrooms and even poisonous ones. You can see them nibbling on the bright red toadstool and for some reason I always thought that the squirrels had stopped eating them and left a bit of a mess on the lawn. But squirrels can eat fungi that are poisonous to us humans. So the squirrels had probably just laid them out on the grass to dry for later storage in a cavity of a tree.

Photo by Egor Kamelev on

The bright red cap with the white scales is stunning! Yet, when talking about fungi, there is so much going on underground. The fruit body is only a part of the story, it is underground that the magic happens!

Using nature as inspiration there are now several companies around the world that are working on creating mushroom leather made from mycelium. The underground part of fungi is called the wood wide web. Fungi and plants have been connected for around 500 million years! By feeding mycellial cells waste materials like sawdust in big mushroom farms, billions of cells form a network. Big sheets of the cells can be harvested after around two weeks. And by using various methods to tan and dye the materials, you end up with something that looks like real leather.

Last year, I was working on ideas on how mushrooms could be used to transform the fashion industry. One idea was to make shoes for kids. After the feet that grown too big for the shoes, you could return the shoes back to the shop and they would send the mushroom leather shoes back to grow a size larger.

I would love to hear your ideas for mushroom leather. Mushroom furniture. . . houses. . .

Go here to read blog posts about Fungi.

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