British fashion designer Stella McCartney is making a range of “un-leather” clothing items from mycelium, a source material derived from fungi and compassion. Why? To alleviate the harm done to animals and the environment from the perpetuation of “leather” and “pleather” based clothing products derived from animal hides and plastics. Alongside Stella McCartney’s clothing line and brand and a variety of other major clothing brands following suit, product designers and engineers around the world are creatively exploring the use and commercial distribution of eco-friendly and bio-based source materials like mycelium, in their product lines. This story is a reminder of how botanical resources, like mycelium, have the capacity to not only stimulate compassion in the minds, hearts and hands of its innovators and designers but also can help us move through the various challenges and limitations that we often impose on ourselves when trying to imagine and tangibly give rise to a more environmentally just and sustainable future. "It's simply incredible what a fungus can do."

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