Each season, fashion folk (and outsider critics) love to reflect on the ever-burdening question niggling away at the minds of designer's all over the world, 'Can fashion truly be sustainable?' We ask the question over and over, yet time and time again, Stella McCartney seems to have the answer - 'Yes!'.
In a bid to go above and beyond, committing herself to be at the heart of sustainable practices no matter what it takes, Stella McCartney has made the world's first-ever garments using Mylo™️ Mushroom leather from Bolt Threads. Vegan leather has become increasingly popular in recent years, and despite claims from some stating it's just 'glorified' plastic, that hasn't stopped brands like Stella McCartney, Doc Martens, Nanushka, and many others incorporating the fabric into their designs. Always one step ahead, McCartney has made the leap from the now commonly used vegan leather to working with Mylo™️. Described as a 'next-generation material,' Mylo™️ is made from the renewable underground root system that is fungi, hence where it got it's 'Mushroom' name from.
Understanding the fundamental principles of what it means to be truly sustainable, McCartney has never given in to the pretence of hype around sustainability and has instead practiced its values since day one. Having always refused to use real leather, feathers, fur or skins for her collections, popular or not, the designer's resounding 'No' has always rung loud and clear - sending rippling waves across the industry, causing other brands to rethink their approach to the very materials that now seem a tad 'outdated' thanks to forward thinking designers like McCartney.
Stella McCartney isn't the only label to place their bets on the durability and quality of the fake leather; Hermès have also jumped ship, breaking with tradition by reimagining their signature Victoria travel bag in the same material. So, with the lab-grown technology gently sweeping fashion off its feet (only just) - could this perhaps signal the beginning of a broader change that sees luxury fashion brands slowly make more of an effort to be more and more inclusive with their materials?
Honouring the luxury sensibilities of this newly-discovered material, Stella McCartney said in a statement: 'I believe the Stella community should never have to compromise luxury desirability for sustainability, and Mylo™️ allows us to make that a reality.'
McCartney went on to comment on her refusal of trading luxury for sustainability, believing the two can coexist harmoniously by saying, '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.'
The CEO of Bolt Threads, Dan Widmaier, thanked McCartney by saying that he was 'Incredibly grateful and humbled by Stella and her team for their long-term partnership and support in bringing Mylo™️ to the world.'
The two garments that have been made using the new technology are said to be 'completely-cruelty free' and are handcrafted from panels of the mycelium-based material laid on recycled nylon scuba at the brand's atelier in London. Stella McCartney has stipulated that although neither of the two garments are currently for sale, McCartney promises to integrate Mylo™️ into future collections, no matter how big or small.