Biomaterials innovator MycoWorks announces it will open the world’s-first commercial-scale mycelium production plant to produce luxury animal-free leather on the 20th of September, 2023.
Located in South Carolina, the 136,000-square-foot facility, employing over 350 people, will use MycoWorks patented Fine Mycelium technology to produce “millions of square feet” of Reishi — a luxury leather alternative with the strength, durability, and hand feel of the finest animal leather but with a lower environmental impact.
“Fine Mycelium platform is an unprecedented advancement in materials. Opening the doors on the first commercial-scale factory has MycoWorks poised to answer the luxury industry’s desire to craft objects with natural alternatives to leather,” says Kiersten Stead, MP at DCVC Bio and board member at MycoWorks.
Since Reishi’s introduction, the company has partnered with major brands, including hatmaker Nick Fouquet, Hermès, Ligne Roset, and GM. But as with all novel products, the company faced the challenge of scaling commercially.
MycoWorks’ founders Philip Ross and Sophia Wang have managed to raise $125 million to open this promising plant, the exciting first steps of replacing animal hides using biotechnology. The company was established in San Francisco in 2013.
Beauty and performance
“This is the moment the luxury industry has been waiting for; a plastic-free leather alternative that offers undeniable beauty and performance — at scale,” comments Patrick Thomas, former CEO of Hermès and board member at MycoWorks.