Stella McCartney Debuts The First Ever Mushroom Leather Bag
Finding sustainable alternatives for polluting materials is a prime concern for consumers and brands alike. Now, after years of development and investment, a number of luxury houses are bringing a highly anticipated material to market: mycelium-based leather. The vegan alternative material, derived from mushrooms, has been crafted by the likes of Stella McCartney, Hermès and Balenciaga into elegant, stylish silhouettes. Explore the mushroom leather bag releases that are set to be seen on the most sustainably, stylish women.
This year, fashion houses aren’t just concerned with experimenting with their designs, but also with their approach to materials. Pressure is mounting for the fashion industry to find ways to be more sustainable, as its role in the climate crisis becomes increasingly apparent — it’s been reported that 10% of all humanity’s carbon emissions are caused by the industry, and that the sector is the second-largest consumer of the world’s water supply. As brands and their parent companies continue to investigate more environmentally friendly alternative materials, one seems to have drawn the most attention (and investment) — mycelium-based leather.
Stella McCartney has been at the forefront of the movement, with the British designer outlining many of her sustainability commitments in her A to Z Manifesto, which accompanied her Spring 2021 collection. Now, after four years of development, the fashion house has announced a go-live sale date for its first mushroom leather handbag design, the Frayme Mylo™️ (£1,995).
The Frayme Mylo™️
The bag is the result of a longstanding relationship between Stella McCartney and Bolt Threads, the pioneering creators of Mylo™, the fungi-sourced leather alternative. Since its inception in 2017, Stella McCartney has worked closely with Bolt Threads to investigate the most promising ways that innovative science and high-fashion design can fuse together. After debuting The Frayme Mylo™️ on the runway as part of Stella McCartney’s Summer 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week, the brand is finally ready to test the commercial market with a mushroom leather bag. At this stage, they will be releasing only 100 limited edition versions of the bag, with each one numbered to commemorate the special occasion, and marks an exciting development in the mycelium movement.
Handcrafted by Italian artisans, the Frayme Mylo™ carries all the markers of a luxury handbag and is set to be a new Stella icon. The vegan style reinterprets the brand’s signature Frayme silhouette, with the same half-moon shape and chunky chain. With this version, however, the mini satchel is made of the soft, leather imitation material that is sourced from the branching root structure of fungi.
Launching 1 July 2022, Stella McCartney’s new offering marks this year’s most notable mycelium release. In 2021, Hermès tested consumer interest with a sustainable reimagining of their iconic Victoria travel bag, which was partially composed from Sylvania, a mycelium leather material Hermès developed with California-based MycoWorks — the two plan to unveil new mushroom leather pieces later this year. A few months later, athletics brand Lululemon announced that they would be debuting a collection of yoga mats and bags made from Bolt Threads’ mylo leather. Plus, as part of the label’s groundbreaking Winter 2022 presentation, Balenciaga included a dramatic long coat which they announced was fully crafted from mycelium-based Ephea, developed by Italian manufacturer Sqim.
For those ready to make the sustainable switch, you’re going to have to be quick — with only 100 of the Frayme Mylo™️ hitting the market on 1 July, this limited edition style won’t be around for long. Sign up for the Stella McCartney newsletter for updates on the drop.