In her latest collection, Stella McCartney presented the first world-ever garments made out of Mylo, a substitute for leather made out of mushrooms. The avant-garde collection includes a black bustier and balloon-leg trousers made out of this innovative material. Until recently, it was not possible to make pieces of Mylo that were large enough to cut into pants or garments.
Stella McCartney has never used leather or fur in her collections. Her brand has always promoted a cruelty-free and ethical philosophy. In the midst of that journey in 2016 started working with Bolt Threads, a San Francisco based biotechnology company, to develop Mylo. Mylo is a substitute for leather grown from mycelium, a part of a fungus. McCartney worked with the scientists at Bolt Threads to perfect the material’s weight, drape and texture. As well as animal leather, Mylo is tanned and curated for a similar feel.
At first, McCartney produced a Falabella bag made out of Mylo for the Victoria & Albert Museum; and last year she announced a consortium with Kering, Adidas and Lululemon to invest in the development of Mylo.
The production of Mylo, and other organic (and mushroom) based leather substitutes can not only offer an alternative to farming animals for the fashion industry; it can also be a significant impact for our planet. The carbon footprint of Mylo is considered to be exceptionally small compared to real leather.
Even though the pieces are not available for purchase, McCartney promises that Mylo will be featured in her future collections. This could represent a big step towards large-scale production of Mylo; or in other words: a big step towards a more sustainable fashion industry.
There are many brands that are looking into mushroom as a new and more sustainable alternative to regular leather. Just last week, Hermès announced a collaboration with a different biotech company, to develop a redesign of one of their classic bags.
*All images courtesy of Stella McCartney
+ Words: Leila Salinas, Luxiders Magazine
Journalist | Berlin-based
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