They develop a mushroom-based bioleather in Argentina

A group of researchers developed leather from fungi that form in agroindustrial waste. From this waste, coming from the production of beer and grapes, they created a type of leather that is used for the manufacture of clothing. The resulting bioleather is 100% sustainable, unlike ecoleather that contains plastics.

Bioleather – Image from

Bioleather – Image from

Researchers from Argentina developed a fungal-based bioleather

Diana Romanini is the head of Mycorium Biotech, a startup from Rosario, Argentina, that developed this new material. It is a cruelty-free bio-leather with the potential to revolutionize the world of fashion.

Romanini has been working on research on the revaluation of industrial products for more than 15 years, with the aim of implementing a circular economy. María Meini and Adriana Clementz joined her investigation. It was in 2021 when the idea of ​​producing a sustainable material from mycelium arose. It took them more than a year of trials and disappointments to find the bio-leather formula.

How is bioleather made?

The manufacture of bioleather requires a complex process through filamentous fungi. In addition, they use waste from agribusiness. One of them is grape pomace, a residue left over from wine making. Another is beer bagasse, a compound from the hulls of malt and barley from which beer is made. These discards are placed in trays for solid state fermentation. It is the food for the fungus to develop, under controlled conditions of humidity, temperature and oxygen.

The process takes approximately 10 days. Then, they “harvest” the mushrooms and then the material obtained is treated with plasticizers to make it durable. The products used in this step are also ecological and biodegradable. Once this process is completed, the material is suitable for sewing.

Use of bioleather

In the first tests, they made a case for glasses and another for a smartphone. As the researchers say, the material can be sewn, so it has no limits of use. It is suitable for use in leather goods, such as the production of wallets and purses, also in clothing manufacturing. They even plan to tempt the automotive industry to use it in car seats.

Bioleather in leather goods

The intention is to replace eco leather, which is in no way ecological, since its components are different plastics. According to UN statistics, the textile industry is one of the most polluting industries. Furthermore, 85% of discards end up in open-air incinerators or landfills. This group of Rosario residents tries to provide a solution to this problem, using a sustainable material whose waste is environmentally friendly.

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