Luxury fashion houses, Hermès, and Stella McCartney have announced that they will be introducing a new textile into their collections, mycelium based leather. Both fashion houses are working towards a more sustainable future in the fashion industry through leading innovative textiles that are vegan, sustainable, and offer animal free leather alternatives.
This new textile is made out of mycelium, the vegetative part of fungi that consists of white filaments, grown in the wild and is abundantly regenerative- feeding on natural resources.
Source: Stella McCartney YouTube Channel
According to W Magazine, “mycelium leather is considered a better option because of its low energy manufacturing and biodegradability aspects”. Through extensive research, scientists have been able to recreate atmospheres in a lab where mycelium grows best: using air, mulch, and water.
Source: Materials Experience Lab
Stella McCartney is collaborating with Mylo by Bolt Threads to create two garments in each of the brands upcoming collections to showcase the potential this new textile has to offer.
Bolt Threads has been working with Stella McCartney since 2017, creating their first commercial product, a micro silk tie and now Mylo, a replacement for synthetic and natural leathers.
Source: Bolt Threads
According to Bolt Threads, “To make Mylo, we use less hazardous chemistry, designed to reduce life cycle impacts, and require strict ethical labor and production practices”.
Stella McCartney will be debuting this new fabric in a black bustier top and utilitarian trousers, incorporating panels of the mycelium material laid on recycled nylon scuba. While these unique garments are not yet for sale, they will be incorporated into future seasonal offerings.
Meanwhile, Hermès will be revealing a handbag using a leather imitation material created by Californian-based company MycoWorks, which includes a similar mycelium production process.
According to MycoWorks, "Fine Mycelium, is produced in the MycoWorks facility, then tanned and finished in France by the Hermès tanners to further refine its strength and durability, matching Hermès quality standards… Sylvania made with fine mycelium should not be referred to as mushroom leather. It is differentiated by a proprietary cellular structure which enables its strength, durability and feel: the result of our patented technology.”.
Hermès will be relaunching the Victoria travel bag in Sylvania made out of fine mycelium, H plume canvas, and Evercalf calfskin. While the new handbag will include a small percentage of calfskin, meaning it will not be entirely vegan, the fashion house is working towards a more sustainable and durable take on vegan leather options.
Source: Robb Report
Hermès has confirmed in a statement that the brand will not be replacing their traditional leather products, which offers up a fashion forward sustainable take the industry has been and will continue trending towards over the next few years. Especially if a luxury fashion house like Hermès, that is built on the idea of handcrafted quality leather will begin producing a variety of vegan and real leather options, other fashion houses will most likely begin to follow suit.
As of yet, the price point of the new Sylvania Victoria Travel bag is unknown, but appears to be trending for upwards of $5,150 , and is expected to be released at the end of 2021.
While these textiles are still in the works and are at the leading edge of the industry, we are excited to see what other innovative materials these start-up manufacturing companies create next; And which luxury fashion house will be on their radar to collaborate with next.