Engineering firm nat-2 has developed fungi footwear made of “mushroom leather” that has a vintage look and is reported to be very soft.
The leather-like material is created from the trama of the tinder sponge, fomes fomentarius, which grows on dead or weak birches and beeches. The material is organic and chemical-free and the fungus gives it natural antiseptic and antibacterial qualities.
A report in designboom.com says that growing, harvesting and testing of the fungus takes two years. When it’s mature, the fungus is peeled off its host and worked by hand. The nat-2 fungi footwear is also constructed with eco-cotton terrycloth, microfiber suede, cork insoles and rubber outsoles.
The shoes are made by hand in a small family-owned business in Italy; nat-2 is an engineered high-end footwear brand based in Munich, Germany.