When Stella McCartney launched 20 years ago, the luxury British brand brought a conscience to the fashion
industry as the first luxury house to never use leather, feathers, fur or skins. Inspired by V is for Vegan from
McCartney A to Z Manifesto and committed to never compromising on desirability or sustainability, Stella McCartney’s future has always laid in innovation. That vision are embodied in the high end brand’s latest launch – the world’s first-ever garments made from vegan, lab-grown Mylo mushroom faux leather.
Last week, French luxury house Hermès unveiled its own vegan leather alternative made in collaboration with California-based startup Myco Works.
Innovated by Stella McCartney’s long-time partners Bolt Threads, Mylo is a soft, substantial, sustainable leather alternative made from mycelium, the infinitely renewable underground root system of mushrooms. Remarkably similar to animal products with fewer environmental impacts, it is also not petroleum-based unlike most current synthetic options – meaning more fossil fuels can be kept in the ground and less plastic is deposited into landfills and oceans. Stella McCartney fashion label used Mylo to create two garments –a black bustier top and utilitarian trousers– that are not for sale, but do embody the potential of this next-generation material and pave the way for future commercial offerings.
“These rare, exclusive Mylo pieces embody our shared commitment with Bolt Threads to innovate a kinder fashion industry – one that sees the birth of beautiful, luxurious materials as opposed to the deaths of our fellow creatures and planet,” says Stella McCartney.
The high-end British sustainable fashion brand first partnered with Bolt Threads on vegan Microsilk in 2017 and have been part of the Mylo journey since its inception. The first product ever created with the mycelium-based material was a prototype of Stella McCartney’s iconic Falabella bag, which debuted as part of the V&A’s Fashioned from Nature exhibition in 2018.
Mylo is certified bio-based, meaning it is made predominantly from renewable ingredients found in nature today. Scientists at Bolt Threads have spawned a new category of material science by reproducing what happens under the forest floor, where mycelium grows best, in a lab with mulch, air and water.
This state-of-the-art process is designed to have a minimal environmental impact and takes days, not years like
raising cattle – helping to save on water, greenhouse gas emissions and protecting vital ecosystems like the
Amazon from deforestation. The eco-conscious fashion brand will continue collaborating with Bolt Threads on Mylo
to not only innovate a better material, but create a fashion industry that is kinder to all creatures and Mother Earth.