The sustainable sneakers were conceived and produced by luxury footwear brand Nat-2, in collaboration with Nina Fabert, a designer with Berlin-based Zvnder. Besides being vegan-friendly, these “mushroom leather” mocs boast organically sourced materials, are imbued with natural anti-bacterial properties, and are gluten and chemical-free. Yep, a gluten-free product for your feet, who knew?
So, how does a shoe made from mushrooms stack up against some pretty stiff competition? Rather well, as these images beautifully illustrate. “The mushroom leather is unique in its vintage look and unbelievably soft in its feel as well,” claims Nat-2’s founder, Sebastian Thies. “By using the material from both sides (of the mushroom), interesting contrasts and combinations become possible.”
Mind you, those button mushrooms stocked at your local Whole Foods just won’t cut the mustard when formed into footwear… yeccch! Not every fungus among us is the same, however. “The leather-like material is created from the trama (a mushroom’s inner “flesh”) of the Tinder Sponge (Fomes fomentarius), adds Thies. “Tinder sponge is a parasitic shelf fungus that grows on dead or weakened Birch and Beech trees.” These fungi are indeed spongy when fresh but have historically been used in dried form as “tinder” to help start campfires.