Are You Ready To Join The Mushroom Movement?
Written by Haven Hathaway
Not until the news came out about sustainability trailblazer Stella McCartney’s new Frayme Mylo bag in partnership with Bolt Threads did I realize fungus could be so fabulous. As a fashion lover myself, I am ready to start rocking a mushroom leather handbag.
Stella McCartney is well known for taking a robust stance on its commitment to eco-friendly clothing and holding itself accountable for its efforts. When the luxury brand started over 20 years ago, it vowed to be the first fashion house to never work with leather, feathers, fur, and skins. McCartney is an established environmental activist and is now the first designer to debut a luxury handbag made from mushroom leather in her SS22 collection, which walked the runway at Paris Fashion Week in October 2021.
Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is a mushroom leather handbag? Well lucky for you, I am going to inform you about how fungi became the future of fashion.
Mycelium is the plant-based leather alternative that is the underground structure of fungi. Along with McCartney, it has caught the attention of sustainably driven brands such as Hermès and Lululemon. After four years in the making, McCartney is launching her first luxury handbag from California-based Bolt Threads’ Mylo, a sustainable mushroom leather material “made from infinitely renewable mycelium.”
Stella McCartney joined Bolt Threads, “the future of high-performance materials,” in 2017. According to McCartney, much like her team, Bolt Threads is passionate about the conscious future of fashion and making its innovations a reality.
The Frayme Mylo bag isn’t the first item they created together. The first product was a part of the V&A’s Fashioned from Nature exhibition in 2018 and was a prototype of McCartney’s classic Falabella bag. In 2021 they developed the first garments made from Mylo, a sleek bra top and legging.
Other brands have also implemented the innovative material; Lululemon designed a yoga mat and two gym bags made from the sustainable leather alternative. The activewear brand launched Mylo products to empower customers' self-reflection and habits.
This futuristic designer bag will go on sale on the e-commerce site and in exclusive stores, with only 100 being sold on July 1st. The handbag is a crescent moon-shaped clutch in a jet-black color that is elevated with a recyclable aluminum chain strap. The Frayme Mylo won’t only make a statement on your wrist but, more importantly, is one of the leading forces pushing this
groundbreaking material from the science labs to the fashion we wear every day.
Vogue Business highlighted a quote from Bolt Threads founder and CEO Dan Widmaier, “‘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.’”
McCartney described this official launch as “taking a leap of faith.” I think I can speak for all of us that it's inspiring to see a woman in the business stand her ground on wanting a change in the industry. McCartney’s transparent words and communication with her customers are critical.
It is a positive shift to see consumers shopping and demanding products that align with more core ethical values. But with this new consumer outlook comes hard work on developing alternative leather materials people will want to invest in. Despite the production challenge, McCartney ultimately wants this purse to help make Mylo more accessible to other brands advocating for sustainability.
Even though this release in July only includes 100 bags, McCartney is confident Mylo will be used in her future collections and will become a staple in the brand. If you a fortunate enough to snag this handbag, be like Stella and embrace the future of fungi.
-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style.
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