MycoWorks’ patented technology uses the root structure of mushrooms to grow sheets of Reishi™, the first low-carbon and biodegradable alternative to leather with a carbon footprint 85% less than traditional cowhide. After eight years of research and development, MycoWorks established its first large-scale facility in Union, SC to increase capacity and meet client demand. Traditional leather production has a massive carbon footprint and is a large contributor to wastewater pollution, due to a toxic chemical (chromium) which is required in the leather tanning process. Widely available synthetic leather materials are made from petroleum-based plastics such as PVC and therefore are not easily recyclable or biodegradable. MycoWorks’ project has been applauded by local officials for its relatively large scale economic and employment impacts in a rural low-income community.