I’ve been really getting into mushrooms lately. And don’t think I’m tripping when I say fungi is taking over the fashion world. It’s true.
Fungi doesn’t exactly sound cool or fashionable but trust me, it is very cool that designers are using mushrooms to make sustainable clothing and accessories.
Handbags, shoes and clothes are being made with mushroom leather, an alternative to animal leather.
What Brands Are Using Mushroom Leather?
Big brands like Stella McCartney, Hermès, Adidas and lululemon and Gucci’s parent company Kering have teamed up to invest in Mylo™, which is a leather-like material made from mycelium, the underground root structure of mushrooms. Mylo feels and looks like leather from animals and grows in a matter of weeks, compared to animal hides which take years to grow. Not to mention the most important aspect, no animals are harmed in the making of Mylo leather.
Stella McCartney has debuted some of the world’s first garments made using Mylo mushroom leather. She’s made a bustier top and utilitarian trousers. She also introduced the first mushroom-inspired handbag to walk a major fashion week runway during Paris Fashion Week.
Adidas, the German-based footwear giant is launching a mushroom made version of the iconic Adidas Stan Smith. The company partnered with Bolt Threads to make the upper on the Stan Smith sneaker expected for a commercial roll out and increased scalability this year.
Those are just a few of the brands working with mushroom leather. Watch this space, it’s only going to grow bigger. Get it, grow? Like a mushroom.
What is Mushroom Leather?
Mushroom leather is a vegan-friendly material that’s a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to animal leather. It’s made from fungi. The leather turns mycelium — threads from the root structure of mushrooms — into a material that looks and feels just like real leather. It’s strong, durable, flexible and water-proof.
The production of mushroom leather requires very little water or energy, making it a better option right from the state. The two major companies manufacturing this newer, more sustainable product have earned eco-friendly certifications and have promised to live up to the most strict environmentally-focused standards to make the material and to eliminate the need for scraps. And the good news is the goal of this fabric is to be almost entirely biodegradable.
Can you believe it? Fungi is finally in fashion.
If you have any questions, please contact me at LexySilverstein@gmail.com.
Follow me on my socials:
- Instagram: @lexysilverstein
- Youtube: Lexy Silverstein
- Twitter: @eLEXYfy
- TikTok: @lexysilverstein
- Facebook: Lexy Silverstein
Remember to eLEXYfy! Make the Ordinary, Extraordinary
Is mushroom leather sustainable?
Yes, mushroom leather is sustainable, and it has several benefits over traditional leather. It has a low resource footprint, since growing mushrooms requires less water, land, and energy than raising cattle. It reduces waste, since the mushrooms themselves can be grown on organic waste. Mushroom leather is biodegradable, and it uses fewer chemicals in the tanning and dyeing processes than traditional leather.
Which companies are using mushroom leather to make clothing?
Mushroom leather has gotten interest in the fashion industry as a sustainable alternative to animal leather. Several brands have either released products made from mycelium leather or are in the process of developing such products. Some of the known collaborations and uses include:
- Bolt Threads: Bolt Threads is the biotechnology company that developed Mylo™, a mycelium-based material. They have collaborated with multiple fashion brands to create products from this innovative material.
- Stella McCartney: Stella McCartney has been experimenting with mushroom leather for some time. They created a prototype of their iconic Falabella bag using Mylo™.
- Lululemon: Lululemon has invested in creating a yoga mat made from Mylo™, as well as bags using the same material.
- MycoWorks: MycoWorks is a biotechnology company that developed Fine Mycelium™ and Reishi™, a mushroom leather.
- Hermès: Hermès has partnered with MycoWorks, a biotech company specialized in mycelium-based materials, to develop Sylvania, a leather alternative made from mycelium for some of its products.
- Adidas: Adidas has explored using mushroom leather in their shoes and apparel.