Stella McCartney has launched a luxury mushroom leather bag, which is thought to be the first of its kind.
The vegetarian label first partnered with material solutions company Bolt Threads five years ago. Since then, the brand has worked to create a range of products with Mylo, Bolt Threads’ mushroom leather.
Last year, it unveiled the first garments (a top and trousers) made with the material.
Mylo consists of mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms. Bolt Threads grows the fungi in a vertical agriculture facility, powered by renewable energy. It’s a more sustainable alternative to traditional leather, which is usually made with cowhide.
The leather industry slaughters millions of animals every year and contributes to animal agriculture’s detrimental environmental impact. To produce just one kilogram of leather, it takes around 17,000 liters of water, for example. The industry is also a leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon.
‘A milestone for the future of luxury fashion’
Stella McCartney’s Italy-based artisans, who have been trained to work with Mylo, handcrafted the new Frayme Mylo bags. They made their first debut in October 2021, at Stella McCartney’s Summer 2022 show during Paris Fashion Week.
Right now, the brand is celebrating mushrooms across its entire summer range, called Fashion Fungi. The environmental benefits of fungi (it increases soil biodiversity and sequesters carbon) inspired the collection. The Netflix documentary Fantastic Fungi was another inspiration.
“It’s been an honor to partner so closely with Stella and her team as they break new ground in luxury fashion with Mylo,” said Bolt Threads’ CEO Dan Widmaier.
“Their category-defining leadership of animal-free fashion and championship of sustainable materials is paving a path forward towards a more responsible fashion industry,” he added. “Bringing the first-ever luxury bag made from Mylo to market is a massive milestone for conscientious consumers, the biomaterials industry, and the future of luxury fashion.”
The new Frayme Mylo limited edition bag is available to buy now.