A German shoe company has created a pair of sustainable vegan sneakers made soft, suede-like mushroom leather that’s also antiseptic and anti-bacterial.
German designer sneaker brand nat-2 has teamed up with designer Nina Fabert of Zvnder, who already create a stylish line of “mushroom leather” products including sustainable products like wallets, watch straps and caps to create a pair of vegan-friendly, sustainable shoes.
nat-2 has created a pair of sustainable vegan sneakers made from the same soft, suede-like material, along with eco-cotton terrycloth, microfiber suede created from recycled plastic bottles, natural cork (the insoles) and natural rubber (the outsoles).
According to the designers: “the leather-like material is created from the Trama of the tinder sponge. Fomes Fomentarius a.k.a ‘tinder sponge’ is a parasite growing on dead or weak birches and beeches.”
To create the planet-friendly material, manufacturers must harvest the tinder sponge by hand, test it for a year, and then hand-work it further until it closely resembles traditional leather. In total, the textile-producing process takes two years to complete, but the process is well worth it as the final product is organic, vegan and chemical free. Not only that, it’s also antiseptic and anti-bacterial, making it the perfect material for sneakers and trainers which are often stuffed with sweaty feet.
The stylish sneakers are handmade by a small family-owned manufacturer in Italy, and the nat-2 website promises a “vintage look” that’s “unbelievably soft” in its feel.