Will Mushroom Leather be Available Sooner Than We Think?
At Scarlet Destiny, we are always excited to hear news regarding sustainable materials within the fashion industry. As you may be aware, it has been a long journey researching different materials for our products, leather being a key part of this. Whilst we decided to use vegetable tanned leather, we have also looked into mushroom leather as it of course is sustainable whilst not eliminating the luxury aspect. However, this was a tricky fabric to obtain due to it not being widely accessible, particularly for small brands like ours.
In early October, we visited London Craft Week where we were fortunate enough to speak to many innovative designers at The Mills Fabrica which held an experiential concept store, Fabrica X. The store hosted the premiere of the Mylo Consortium led by U.S start-up Bolt Threads, who supply their mushroom leather made from mycelium to brands like Adidas, Stella McCartney, and LuluLemon. During our visit, we spoke to Gabrielle and discussed our concerns that whilst we would love to use mushroom leather for our products, it is not currently widely available. We were reassured by Gabrielle that once the product is launched in 2022 it will be more accessible, but revelations regarding mycelium have been announced, suggesting we could potentially obtain mushroom leather sooner than we think.
Recent news has revealed a partnership between Bestseller, PVH Corporation and Ecovative on an international sustainable fashion co-operative. Bestseller and PVH Corporation will be given priority access to Ecovative’s mycelium innovations whilst working with them to produce mycelium materials for product and consumer applications. The materials company, Ecovative, has developed mycelium for various partners internationally; once it is grown, it creates a ready to finish materials without plastic scrims or petroleum-based coatings, unlike some vegan leathers, and is created using bio-based resources. The material is grown in sheets up to a length of 24 metres and 1.8 metres wide, taking only 9 days for the process to be complete. As well as this, it can be tailored according to tensile strength, density, and fibre orientation to be used for leather accessories (hopefully ours soon), garments, belts, and shoes. Members from platform for sustainable fashion innovation, Fashion for Good, will also be involved as they will work with Bestseller designers and engineers from PVH Corporation to research design, build and test research, and development strategy.
“At PVH we are excited to explore innovations that reduce the environmental impact of our products. Mycelium provides us with an opportunity to respond to growing consumer interest in lower impact products while supporting quality and design that meet the needs and expectations of our consumers.” – Rebecca England, VP of innovation at PVH Europe.
“Mycelium shows great potential in the fashion innovation sphere which extends far beyond our own industry. We are keen on diving into the product development phase and really understanding the aesthetics and actual performance of Ecovative’s materials in the lab.” - Anders Schorling Overgård, sustainable materials engineer at Bestseller.
The new partnership is interesting news for us here at Scarlet Destiny, as this may offer wider access for small brands like ours. We would love to experiment with mycelium for our products – do you think you would buy a product made from mushroom leather as a replacement for animal leather?
(Information sourced from: fashionunited.uk)
Featured image sourced by: Timothy Dykes, Unsplash
Image 1 sourced by: m0851, Unsplash
Image 2 sourced by: NASA, Unsplash
Image 3 sourced by: Damir Omerovic, Unsplash