It looks like suede, but it is animal and chemical-free
The Italy-based manufacturer GradoZero Espace has developed Muskin, a 100% natural mushroom layer alternative to animal leather. The raw material is extracted from Phellinus ellipsoideus, a kind of big parasitic fungus that grows in the wild and attacks the trees in the subtropical forests, and is then â€œtannedâ€ using chemical-free methods. The final product resembles suede, only it is â€œmuch softerâ€, while it is also breathable, pliable, naturally water-repellant and suitable for direct contact with human skin because of the total absence of toxic and chemical substances involved in its production. Being completely animal free, it has been approved by PETA and rated as VVV+ (maximum rate) by Animalfree.info (LAV). And thanks to its very natural origin and the presence of natural penicillins substances, it limits bacteria proliferation.
Although it is still unclear how durable Muskin can be, the manufacturer proposes a wide range of products that could be made, including purses, watch straps, shoe insoles, and hats, as it can easily be shaped. At this point, the company produces Muskin samples at different sizes (S, M, L, XL), which are sold online, in order for consumers to test them for care and cleaning solutions.