Stella McCartney has showcased the world’s first garments made using Mylo, the mushroom-based vegan leather developed by biomaterials startup Bolt Threads. Having previously created an animal-free bag with the innovative material, this time, the renowned British vegetarian designer has launched a black bustier top and utilitarian trousers. While the garments won’t be for sale, they unveil the disruptive potential of sustainable materials like Mylo as the industry pushes towards circularity.
The world’s first garments made from Mylo have arrived. Designed by Stella McCartney, the jet-black bustier top and on-trend utility-style trousers are made with the vegan leather developed by California-based Bolt Threads, marking what a “first step” towards the label integrating the innovative material into future collections.
It’s a part of the long-standing partnership between the fashion brand and Bolt Threads, who has made headlines recently for forging a consortium with big players in the industry – including luxury fashion giant Kering and sportswear major Adidas – to create products using its animal-free leather made from mycelium, an infinitely renewable resource derived from mushrooms.
We’d already done a bag, so I wanted to do the ready-to-wear to give a bit more insight into how much you can do with this material, and how it can be swept across the industry to actually replace leather.Stella McCartney
Mylo, which resembles soft and supple leather, takes just two weeks to grow, can replace animal or other petroleum plastic-based synthetic leathers, and takes on any finishing, embossing or colours. Eliminating the need to raise cattle and slaughter them for their skins, the mycelium-based vegan leather is far more climate-friendly, not to mention a cruelty-free choice.
Previously, McCartney had debuted a bag made using Mylo, but this time, the designer decided to showcase how the leather alternative can perform in the garment category.
“We’d already done a bag, so I wanted to do the ready-to-wear to give a bit more insight into how much you can do with this material, and how it can be swept across the industry to actually replace leather,” explained the lifelong vegetarian designer, in conversation with Vogue.
It is remarkably realistic without being plastic, and is much kinder to our fellow creatures and Mother Earth.Stella McCartney
She was able to create the pieces after Bolt Threads continued to improve its material, launching new iterations that were more pliable, soft and available in more varieties of textures, weights and thickness.
While both pieces are not for sale, McCartney says they serve as prototypes that “illustrate this material’s potential and pave the way for the future of fashion”.
“It is remarkably realistic without being plastic, and is much kinder to our fellow creatures and Mother Earth,” added the brand, who famously became the first luxury fashion house to never use leather, feather, fur or skins.
Creating new, high-quality biomaterials is a major technological challenge and a massive opportunity for people and the planet.Dan Widmaier, Founder & CEO, Bolt Threads
Dan Widmaier, founder and CEO of Bolt Threads, says the prototypes represents a “huge step forward in both aesthetics and performance of biomaterials, but also marks the beginning of the rollout of product-ready Mylo.”
“Creating new, high-quality biomaterials is a major technological challenge and a massive opportunity for people and the 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,” he continued. “This is tangible progress toward large-scale production where Mylo can make a significant positive impact on our planet.”
Lead image courtesy of Stella McCartney / Bolt Threads.