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MycoWorks announces first harvest of leather alternative following new plant opening

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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MycoWorks first harvest Credits: MycoWorks

Biotechnology company MycoWorks has confirmed that its commercial-scale fine mycelium plant in South Carolina, US, has successfully harvested the first 1,000 sheets of its luxury leather-alternative biomaterial.

The sheets have left the plant to be delivered to MycoWorks’ partner tanneries across Europe to transform the fine mycelium innovation into products, including the company’s own flagship material Reishi, a fully grown, customisable, and low-carbon biomaterial with the strength, hand-feel, and durability of the world’s finest natural leathers.

In a statement, MycoWorks said that the fine mycelium growth at the South Carolina plant has already “exceeded the quality standards of typical sheets grown at the company’s California pilot plant due to the implementation of years of quality and scale-up learnings from the pilot”.

It adds that three years of research and development at the pilot plant paved the way for quick scalability and that its proprietary process is operating as expected with quality achieved ahead of schedule, proving the company’s proprietary tray-based process can be performed virtually anywhere.

Doug Hardesty, chief operating officer at MycoWorks, said: “In 2023, MycoWorks achieved multiple manufacturing milestones, most notably start of production of the world’s first commercial-scale mycelium biomaterial in South Carolina as well as the first harvests of high-quality sheets of Fine Mycelium using this facility’s new systems and process automation.

“Our teams redesigned and scaled up our one-of-a-kind tray-based process to achieve low cost and high quality production all while delivering Fine Mycelium to the market ahead of schedule, only 17 months after breaking ground. MycoWorks South Carolina is a remarkable achievement, now delivering the quality from craftsmanship via a scalable tray.”

Fine Mycelium
leather alternative