IN COLLABORATION WITH
This Wristwatch Strap Made Out From Mushroom!
A watchmaker in Indonesia’s Bandung city thinks the next step in sustainability is a wristwatch with a strap made out of the complex root structure of a mushroom.
Mycelium leather, as the material is known for it fibrous, tough yet pliable, waterproof, and has been touted as an environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic products or natural leather made from animal hide. “Finally we found one mushroom with a mycelium that can be made into binding material” said Erlambang Ajidarma, head of research at MYCL™️, after testing several different types of mushrooms since 2016.
Now, the company grows the fungus on sawdust and then harvests the leather. It costs less to make mycelium leather than to make petroleum-based synthetic leathers, he says, and the mycelium manufacturing process produces a fraction of the carbon dioxide emitted by the cows killed to make real leather. Ajidarma’s team also uses dyes extracted from leaves, roots and food waste to color the mycelium leather, which they say absorbs dye faster than leather made from animal hide. Watchmaking company Pala Nusantara cuts and sews the leather into the straps for its watches, which are made with a wooden bezel.