One of the earliest records of leather artifacts dates to 2200 BCE. The animal-based product has travelled a long way, from being used by our ancestors to becoming a symbol of cowboy culture, and now a part of luxury bags, shoes, clothes. Concerns about leather, which is mostly derived from bovines, include animal cruelty, long-term sustainability. Synthetic leathers too bring up environmental problems as their main base is polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethane (PU), plastic based materials. Also known as “pleather,” meaning plastic leather.
Luxury brands have been exploring innovative, sustainable and vegan leathers and Hermès and Stella McCartney have used mushroom-based leather in their newer fashion lines.
A collaboration three years in the making, Hermès and MycoWorks, make the world’s first object with Fine Mycelium, a patented technology that enhances mycelium (part of a fungi) as it grows. The material will be used to make the Victoria bag, slated to hit the market by the end of the year.
Developed by the California-based start-up, the new material Sylvania combines Hermes classic luxe identity with innovative biotechnology. Manufactured in the MycoWorks facility, the material is sent to France to be tanned and finished by Hermès tanneries, much like the brand’s classic leather goods. Hermès being synonymous with classic luxury, and a big player in the production of high-quality leather goods, makes this collaboration even more noteworthy.
A luxury house that has never used leather, feathers, furs, or skins, Stella McCartney debuts Mylo™️ mushroom leather garments. Created by Bolt Threads, Mylo™️ is a soft, sustainable leather alternative made from mycelium. The leather is not petroleum-based.
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