Yes, eco friendly mushrooms. They are the ones that are unpleasant to a large group of masses. Nowadays, one subspecies of these funny fungi is used to make bio-based materials. These fungi are becoming one of the ultimate biodegradable materials that can make items like shoes to coffins, to furniture, to housing and beyond.

This magic material is called Mycelium, the silky thread that binds fungus. This magic material is being altered and developed to create everything from shoes to coffins to packaging and advanced building materials. Mycelium basically feeds on trash and agricultural by-products, detoxifying the environment along the way.

We can also grow vertically this biodegradable material with very little water to save space, has low emission rates and the circular economy solution may help us change from carbon-based products. There are approximately 5 million types of fungus in their kingdom.

Maurizio Montalti is a Dutch-based designer and researcher who’s been studying mycelium for a decade. He implies fungi are the fundamental agents that enable the transformation of not only nutrition but also across living systems. He also founded Mogu, a company commercialising fungi-based bio-material products and other products like sound-absorbing tiles created from mycelium grown from corn crops, rice straw, used coffee grounds, discarded seaweed and even clamshells.

Since mycelium isn’t mass-produced just yet, though fashion giants like Gucci, Stella McCartney and Adidas have joined the group. The following are a few products that could be drawn to a new era;

  1. The “Living Cacoon Coffin” Made From Mycelium

This Netherlands-based company offers the dead a chance of birth in a new form via this ‘living cocoon’, which is claimed to be the first of its kind. Loop has created this mycelium based coffin in which the bodies decompose and become a part of reviving biodiversity. Instead of cremation by burning or being buried, Loop is helping the dead get back to nature.

2.Leather Shoes Made From Mushrooms

Indonesian-based company Mycotech has been using fungi to create a sustainable alternative to leather products, especially shoes, since 2012. consume less water and don’t have to kill animals,” says Adi Reza, the founder of the company, also adding that there are fewer emissions and there are no plastic or chemical-based materials used. 

3.Transforming Toxic Waste Using Mushrooms

Established in 2018, US-based Mycocycle uses fungi to remove toxins from building materials like asphalt and petrochemical-based waste. Motorcycle claims that its water and fire-resistant mycelium can be manufactured into Styrofoam, insulation packaging, insulation and building materials.

4.Biodegradable Building Block

My-co space has created a compostable, zero-emissions mushroom tower called the HY-Fy. The founder of My-Co explains they want to transform dead matter into composite materials. Designed for 2 occupants, the structure’s organic shape (honeycombed mycelium blocks) plays a fundamental role in the interrelation between humans and fungi.

These genius innovations may lead us to not only seeing eco friendly mushrooms on our plates but wearing or being inside one.

Shashi A