Natalie Portman and John Legend invest in vegan leather brand – Totally Vegan Buzz
Natalie Portman and John Legend invest in vegan leather brand
Image: Andrea Raffin (Left) and Tinseltown (Right) / shutterstock.com

According to MycoWorks, Reishi is the first and currently only material to offer a sustainable solution for the fashion and footwear industries that does not compromise on ‘performance, quality, or aesthetics’.

Natalie Portman and John Legend along with a number of high-profile celebrities and fashion brands have invested in an alternative mycelium-based material firm that has created vegan leather from mushrooms.

The celebrities participated in a US$45 million Series B funding round, led by WTT Investment Ltd. and DCVC Bio, raising capital for MycoWorks to ‘scale up and meet demand’ for its animal-free leather, dubbed ‘Reishi’.

Performs like cowhide leather

The San Francisco based start-up says its signature material Reishi performs like cowhide leather but contains no plastic or animal origin material.

According to MycoWorks, sheets of Reishi’s interwoven Fine Mycelium™ cells are grown to size and can be finely-tuned to offer new design possibilities. The sheets are then finished by ‘traditional tanneries with green, chrome-free chemistry’, demonstrating ‘technological innovation to the traditional craftsmanship that is essential to luxury fashion brands’.

Reishi is the first and currently only material to offer a sustainable solution for the fashion and footwear industries that does not compromise on ‘performance, quality, or aesthetics’.

New production site

The company is also opening a major new Reishi production plant in Emeryville, California, which will be used to meet the extraordinary demand for Reishi materials.

The new plant increases production capacity for the company by over 10x and, together with this new funding, will pave the way for further expansions.

MycoWorks is currently finalizing deals with leading global luxury fashion and footwear brands and consumers can expect to see the first products made with Reishi in the coming months.

MycoWorks, says it has witnessed accelerating demand for its products through 2020 despite the global downturn due to COVID-19.

‘Unmatched product sustainability and versatility’

“At MycoWorks, we’ve created a biotech platform for the fashion and luxury industries that delivers the highest quality, most versatile natural materials on Earth,” CEO of MycoWorks, Matt Scullin said.

“Our vision is to grow the future of materials. We have found partners in these investors who see the long-term potential for MycoWorks to transform many industries with our patented Fine Mycelium™ technology.

“Our customers– major global luxury and footwear brands– require the utmost quality and performance in their finished goods. They recognize that Fine Mycelium™ is the key to achieving this along with unmatched product sustainability and versatility.”

Scullin added that the company was “delighted to welcome Natalie Portman and John Legend, whose support for sustainable options in the fashion industry will only further our traction.”

Share this story to let others know about the new animal-free leather called ‘Reishi’.

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