Adidas presents its first Stan Smith sneaker made from vegan mushroom leather
Fashion brand Adidas recently unveiled the Mylo Stan Smith, a vegan version of their iconic mushroom-based leather Stan Smith sneakers. The concept shoes were made in collaboration with Bolt Threads, who supplied Mylo – vegan leather made from mycelium, the fast-growing root system of fungi. While conventional leather is grown on a cow for months and sometimes years, the mycelium used in Mylo grows in less than two weeks, conserving resources. The material is renewable, environmentally friendly and works just like traditional leather, but without cruelty to animals. The outer upper, perforated strips, heel tab pad, and premium branding are all made from Mylo, and the shoe’s midsole is made from natural rubber.
“The introduction of Mylo as a new material is an important step forward in our courageous quest to help eliminate plastic waste,” said Amy Jones Vaterlaus, Adidas Global Head of Future. “As a planet, we have to learn to work with nature, not against it. We must make every effort to find innovative solutions that are responsibly created with resources that are renewed at a sustainable pace. Developed in synergy with the earth’s ecosystems. And as a brand, we continue to explore the possibilities of material innovation. “
While the Mylo Stan Smith is a concept shoe, Adidas expects to release a commercially available version of the renewable vegan sneaker in the near future. “With the development of the legendary Stan Smith with an upper made of Mylo material, Adidas demonstrates the far-reaching potential of this innovative material,” said Jamie Bainbridge, Vice President of Product at Bolt Threads. “We are delighted to be working with Adidas in a kind of development partnership that makes innovation a reality. Mylo has the strength and performance it offers today thanks to the guidance and extensive technical expertise of the Adidas team in making great shoes. “
The unveiling of Mylo Stan Smith follows Adidas’ launch of the “Our Icons Go Vegan” initiative, in which the shoe brand creates vegan versions of its classic styles. This collection includes the Samba (US $ 80) and the Continental 80 (US $ 80), both of which are embossed with an “Adidas Original Vegan” logo and made from animal-free materials except for the adhesive. In addition to vegan leather, the latter style includes eco-friendly algae-based EVA foam for the construction of its midsole. Adidas also released a version of its Stan Smith sneakers last year that included PRIMEGREEN – a material that doesn’t use virgin plastic – with an upper made from 50 percent recycled materials.
Designers love vegan leather
Adidas released the first vegan Stan Smith in 2018, made in collaboration with environmentally conscious designer Stella McCartney. Since the release of the vegan sneakers that won celebrity fans like Madonna and Meghan Markle, McCartney has also started experimenting with Mylo.
Last month, McCartney was the first designer to present the mushroom leather in two concept pieces: a bustier and a pair of pants. Adidas and McCartney are part of the Mylo Consortium – a multi-brand partnership Bolt Threads announced in 2020 that also includes Lululemon and Kering – which is expected to launch new products made from innovative mushroom-based leather in 2021.
In addition to mushroom leather, more and more brands are using other environmentally friendly vegan leather alternatives. Famous fashion brands like Karl Legerfeld, H & M and Fossil recently launched collections with Desserto – a leather made from cactus leaves developed by Mexican entrepreneurs Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez. More innovations are on the horizon at brands like Allbirds, which recently invested $ 2 million in creating alternatives to animal and synthetic leather made from vegetable oil, natural rubber, and other environmentally friendly materials.