Stella McCartney unveils the world’s first vegan mushroom lederhosen
Today, eco-conscious designer Stella McCartney unveiled two pieces of clothing – a bustier and a pair of pants – made from mylo vegan mushroom-based leather. The luxury designer is the first in the world to use the innovative material developed by the biotechnology startup Screw threadto create garments. The bustier and pants were made in McCartney’s London studio and are made from recycled dipping nylon and panels made from Mylo, a material made from bolt threads from fast-growing mycelium (fungal root systems). The avant-garde garments are not for sale, but are designed to demonstrate the potential of Mylo that McCartney will have in future designs.
“I believe the Stella community should never have to compromise the luxury desirability for sustainability, and Mylo enables us to make that happen,” said McCartney. “These rare, exclusive pieces epitomize our shared commitment with Bolt Threads to innovate a friendlier fashion industry – one that creates beautiful, luxurious materials as opposed to the death of our fellow creatures and our planet.”
Better vegan leather
Mylo is environmentally superior to animal leather in a variety of areas including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and lower water and land use. It is also made without cruelty to animals. While it takes years for cows to mature for their hides to turn into leather, Mylo grows in a few days and is infinitely renewable. Mushroom leather is not petroleum-based like many artificial leathers, which means that more fossil fuels are kept in the ground and less plastic can be deposited in landfills and in the oceans.
“Creating new, high quality biomaterials is a major technological challenge and a tremendous opportunity for people and the planet. I am incredibly grateful and humble of Stella and her team for their long-term partnership and support in bringing Mylo into the world, ”said Dan Widmaier, CEO and Founder of Bolt Threads. “The material used in these two garments not only represents a major advancement in the aesthetics and performance of biomaterials, it also marks the beginning of the introduction of product-ready Mylo. This is a tangible advance towards mass production where Mylo can have a significant positive impact on our planet. “
The leather-free future of fashion
McCartney and Bolt Threads have been working together since 2017 to bring greener, more animal-friendly materials to the fashion industry. In 2018, McCartney created the first product to use Mylo – a mushroom leather prototype of her iconic Falabella bag that was on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Fashioned from Nature exhibition in London.
While McCartney showcases Mylo first in their concept drafts, members of the Mylo Consortium – a multi-brand partnership Bolt Threads announced in 2020 with McCartney, Adidas, Lululemon and Kering – are set to launch new products made with its innovative mushroom leather Base from 2021.
Other companies are also working to develop mushroom leather alternatives to animal hides. Californian company MycoWorks is currently working with luxury fashion giant Hermès to bring out a new version of its Victoria handbag by the end of the year, part of which will be made from Sylvania – the startup’s vegan mushroom-based leather “Fine Mycelium”.
Photo credit: Stella McCartney