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Frequently Asked Questions

Our Materials

Is the material waterproof?

No. It is water resistant to a certain point, but long term exposure to moisture will cause the material to begin its decomposition process. Mycelium is naturally hydrophobic, but the substrates we use can absorb water. If the material is given a chance to dry out, then it likely won’t affect the material’s structure. We recommend coating it to make it waterproof.

How fast do these mushroom materials biodegrade?

When broken down into small pieces and placed out in the elements, your mushroom materials will return to the earth in about a month.

How does it decompose?

Mushroom® Materials do not degrade without exposure to living organisms, such as that found in soil biota, and moisture. You can think of it like an unfinished piece of wood. A wooden table isn’t going to decompose without exposure to the right conditions. Like most things you’d keep in your home or in a warehouse, Mushroom Materials will last. But if you leave that wooden table outside, or put wood chips into a compost pile, it will naturally decompose. The same is true with Mushroom Materials.

What certifications do you have?

We are Cradle to Cradle™ Gold Certified and Living Future Declare Certified.

What type of mushroom are you using?

Our technology and processes are a trade secret protected by our patents, including the specific strain we use. We have a large strain library and can actually use different species to achieve different material properties.

Are there any allergy concerns?

There is no known allergen risk with our Mushroom® Materials. The mushroom we use is very similar to a commonly used medicinal mushroom (found in nutritional supplements, etc). There are no spores involved in our process as we keep the organism at its vegetative state. A huge body of literature is published on humans’ interactions with this type of mushroom, and no allergens have been reported. We have worked with third party labs to verify the safety of our materials.

How does it compare to conventional packaging?

Very well! Mushroom® Packaging is a direct replacement for expanded polystyrene or polyethylene foams, but it can replace lots of different kinds of packaging. To see if Mushroom® Packaging is right for you, take a look at our Material Specifications.

Will it catch on fire?

Mycelium is naturally fire resistant!

Can you eat Mushroom Materials?

In theory, yes. However it is not tasty, and not nutritious, so we do not recommend it.

About Ecovative

Can I tour your facility?

Although we would love to honor your tour request, we currently only host customers, partners, or investors. Ecovative is still a fairly small company with huge goals to make the world a better place by replacing toxic materials. We are dedicating our time to ensure Mushroom® Materials are of the highest quality and are made widely available.

As part of our continuing commitment to education, we offer a variety of multimedia content that showcases our technology and offers a virtual tour of the facility. There are many options, including our feature on PBS Nova or CBS News. There are also several Ecovative TED talks, and the videos on our youtube channel.

Are you making food packaging (cups, plates, take out containers)?

No. Mushroom® Materials are not certified for direct food contact at this time. Our expertise today is in producing protective packaging buffers to protect items like televisions and furniture during shipment. We know that food packaging is bad for the environment and is a large contributor to plastic pollution, but it is not something we are dedicating our resources to today. If you’re with a company interested in starting a development project with us, please contact us.

How much energy do you use in your process? Have you conducted a Life Cycle Assessment?

Ecovative has not yet published a peer reviewed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Our aim is to have an energy and environmental footprint that is not just a little better, but far better, than conventional materials. We look forward to sharing these numbers and making comparisons to plastic production in the future.

Can you produce in my region/ship internationally?

We look forward to setting up manufacturing facilities across the globe as we continue to expand. Locations of manufacturing facilities will be determined by licensing partners, customer demand, and economic feasibility. We are able to ship internationally from our New York facilities today.

Where do you get your mushrooms from? Can I grow mushrooms for you?

Ecovative has a team of internal and external professionals that keep our trade secret mycelium library running. We rely on our Chief Mycologist and the strain team to harvest specimens seasonally and we import strains from other laboratories as needed. Our specific process requires a large output of mycelium. We appreciate the support, but are not looking for additional assistance in this area.

How can I invest in Ecovative?

Ecovative is not publicly traded at this time, and we do not have any plans to go public in the near future. If you’re interested in supporting Ecovative, check out our online shop! If you are interested in becoming an institutional investor in the company by way of equity investment, we encourage you to reach out to our Business Development Team at projects@ecovativedesign.com.

Shipping

What is the Standard Free Shipping?

We offer free shipping on all orders within the U.S. The Standard Free Shipping is processed through USPS.

How can I place a bulk order?

For custom or bulk order pricing, contact our sales team: sales@ecovativedesign.com or give us a call at 518-273-3753 x1039.

Where do the shipping costs I see come from?

The shipping costs on our webstore are real-time costs provided by carriers, which means you pay exactly what it costs us to ship your order to you.

When will my order ship?

Our materials are grown, not made. Usually we have the inventory on hand to fulfill an order within a few days of receiving it. If we have a high volume of orders and our inventory is depleted, we have to grow more to replace it. Sometimes this means it can take 2-3 weeks for your order to leave our facility.

How long will it take an international order to arrive?

We suggest allowing up to 4-6 weeks for international orders, though most arrive more quickly. We cannot provide guaranteed arrival dates for international orders due to time in customs, etc.

Do I have to do anything about customs?

Most countries allow our material to pass through customs without any problems. At the moment, the only country that does not allow our material is Australia. All customs forms and information needed should be provided in your order.

Why is the carrier charging me an additional tax?

You are responsible for any additional international duties and fees, and carriers may refuse to release your order until they are paid.

Grow It Yourself

Do I have to dry it?

You should! If you want your GIY project to retain its shape instead of continuing to grow, you need to dry it to prevent that.

What strain do you use?

Our strain is a trade secret protected by our patents. So we can’t give out any information about it, or other strains.

Will mushrooms grow from my project if I don’t cover it well enough?

Indeed they will! Given the right conditions, your mushroom material will attempt to sprout mushrooms and reproduce, but if you follow the instructions you should stay mushroom-free.

Will my finished project be waterproof?

Much like wood, mushroom materials need to be sealed to be waterproof. Unfinished mushroom materials will begin to decay when they get wet, just like unfinished timber.

Will my finished project catch on fire?

Mycelium is naturally fire resistant!

Is this stuff going to stink up my house while it’s growing?

No way! You might notice an earthy smell if you stick your nose up against the bag, but you shouldn’t have to worry about any visitors questioning your hygiene, unless they already do, of course.

Design Collection & Furniture

Is it safe to have in my house?

Completely! Everything we sell is free of any toxins or harmful substances or fumes.

So how do I water my plant in my GIY planter?

Carefully. Air plants and succulents are best because they require very little water, but as long as you pour carefully you should be able to avoid soaking your planter.

Can a mushroom really hold up as a table?

It really can. Mycelium is very strong!

Will my new furniture catch on fire?

Mycelium is naturally fire resistant!

How do I care for it?

Love it very much. Actually, our material doesn’t need much care, it just needs to be kept dry (breaking down when it is exposed to water is what makes our material compostable). If you do that, and don’t drop-kick it across your house, it should last…almost indefinitely!

What certifications do you have?

We are Cradle to Cradle™ Gold Certified and Living Future Declare Certified.

If you have a question that isn’t answered on this page, please contact us.