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Stella McCartney unveils the world's first garments made from Mylo mushroom leather

Lauretta Roberts
17 March 2021

Stella McCartney has become the first luxury house in the world to create garments from Mylo™️ by Bolt Threads – a vegan, sustainable, animal-free leather alternative made from mycelium, the renewable underground root system of fungi.

The two garments combine "deep science with high fashion design" and have been created to show the potential of this next-generation material and "pave the way for future commercial offerings".

Last year it was announced that Stella McCartney, which is known for the designer's commitment to sustainable and animal-free fashion, was part of an exclusive consortium of brands working with Mylo™️, exploring its uses and providing critical feedback to the Bolt Threads team.

“I believe the Stella community should never have to compromise luxury desirability for sustainability, and Mylo™️ allows us to make that a reality. These rare, exclusive 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,” said the designer and founder of the house Stella McCartney.

Dan Widmaier, CEO and founder of Bolt Threads added: "Creating new, high-quality biomaterials is a major technological challenge and a massive opportunity for people and planet. I am incredibly grateful and humbled by Stella and her team for their long-term partnership and support in bringing Mylo™️ to the world. The material used in these two garments not only represents a huge step forward in both aesthetics and performance of biomaterials, but also marks the beginning of the rollout of product-ready Mylo™️. This is tangible progress toward large-scale production where Mylo™️ can make a significant positive impact on our planet."

The two Mylo™️ garments, including a black bustier top and utilitarian trousers, are entirely unique and cruelty-free. Both were handcrafted from panels of the mycelium-based material laid on recycled nylon scuba at the brand’s atelier in London. While neither of these pieces are for sale, Stella promises it will integrate Mylo™️ into future seasonal offerings.

Said to have properties "remarkably similar" to animal leather, the first product ever created with Mylo™️ was a prototype of Stella’s iconic Falabella bag, which debuted as part of the V&A’s Fashioned from Nature exhibition in 2018.

Mycelium is regenerative and thrives abundantly in the wild feeding on natural resources. Scientists at Bolt Threads has learned how to reproduce what happens under the forest floor, where mycelium grows best, in a lab to create Mylo™️ with mulch, air and water – spawning an entirely new category of material science.

This state-of-the-art process is designed to have a minimal environmental impact and takes days, not years like raising cattle. It requires 17,000 litres of water to produce a kilogram of leather, with animal agriculture accounting for approximately 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions and driving the destruction of vital ecosystems; 70-80% of the Amazon’s deforested area is now used for cattle pastures. Mylo™️ is also not petroleum-based, unlike synthetic leathers, meaning more fossil fuels can be kept in the ground and less plastic is deposited into landfills and oceans.

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