Unleather – Mycelium Leather by Mylo

Leather has served humans for centuries, it is the ultimate luxury fabric to be used in any industry today! But, people evolve and so should the materials we use. This is where Mylo comes in; the allure of leather with a sustainable transformation. Mylo produces a substitute for leather, made from mycelium; soft, supple, and less harmful to the environment. Produced by world-class scientists and engineers at Bolt Threads; a material solutions company in California that invents and scales advanced biomaterials that put us on a path towards a more sustainable future. 


Mylo introduced the term “unleather”; an interesting concept which is defined as “the radical act of choosing products made sustainably with infinitely renewable mycelium over animal and synthetic-based materials”. It is a place of possibilities, a world where deep science meets high design. The best of both worlds! Magical thinking meets radical intention! It is a mission that never compromises what’s possible for what’s easy, it is a challenge we must take to insure a brighter, greener and cleaner future. But what is mycelium and how is it produced?


For billions of years mycelium has been growing beneath our feets and served as an ecological connective tissue. A sprawling, infinitely renewable, interlaced web, it threads through soil, plant bodies, and along river beds. Mushrooms are the fruit of mycelium. A team of visionary scientists and engineers at Bolt Threads have developed a state-of-the-art process to grow and transform mycelium into a high-quality alternative for animal and synthetic-based leather. 


It all starts with mycelium cells which are grown on beds of sawdust and other organic materials. Billions of cells grow to form an interconnected 3D network which is processed, tanned, and dyed to make Mylo. Therefore, if you think of it, technically speaking, mycelium, from which Mylo material is made, is a member of the mushrooms and fungi kingdom, making it neither plant nor animal based; yet it is still a product of our earth. How amazing that the fruits of our earth are the heroes of tomorrow? 


Unlike synthetic leather, which is usually made from PVC and PU, Mylo leather is made from mycelium that is not petroleum-derived. Alongside, Mylo material’s processing and finishing chemistries are intentionally evaluated and selected using Green Chemistry principles. Sustainability is a measure of inputs and processing steps as well as the end life, which is why the experts are working towards finding a way to make Mylo material biodegradable. 


Several designers have partnered with Mylo as a way to shift into a more sustainable fashion journey. These include Stella McCarntey, Adidas, Lululemon and others on the way. Intentionally selected for their exceptional product quality, and their impactful global reach, these companies are coming together, to help create a more sustainable future for fashion. 


Stella McCartney; a trend setter when it comes to sustainability, has partnered with Mylo to bring sustainable leather to life. The “fashion’s conscience” designer as described by Vogue, redefines luxury by introducing vegan and animal-friendly leathers in her designs. She states “I believe the Stella community should never have to compromise luxury and design for sustainability, and Mylo makes that a reality”. Stella debuted the first-ever Mylo garments in March 2021. This is a milestone in the fashion industry that presents us with the promise of Mylo, foreshadowing a new era of sustainable fashion!


On the other hand, Adidas has debuted the classic white trainers Stan Smith, with Mylo leather, making it the first-ever shoe made from Mylo. To showcase the future of fashion, they chose the most iconic shoes of all time, as a way to cast us forward to a sustainable future, and create a groundbreaking moment that surely challenges the notion of fashion. Quoting the Adidas Annual Report 2020 “This is larger than sports, this is for our future”.


And finally, another brand that has utilized Mylo in their products is Lululemon, who have released the world’s first yoga  accessory collection made with Mylo. The collection includes a yoga mat that is made entirely from undyed Mylo. The Mylo yoga mat is made with varying, woven patterns to guide the placement of hands and feet during yoga practice. It is outstanding what we can do if we put our minds and hearts into it! Lululemon Product Officer, Sun Choe says “Leveraging a material like Mylo demonstrates our commitment to creating a healthier environment through lower-impact products…”. 


Mylo Leather is an innovation that surely leaves us speechless; a world of imagination and possibilities. Leather is turned into unleather, and toxicity is turned into pureness, it is the key to unlock more fantasies of a greener reality. “Unearth the magic of the natural world to create solutions as remarkable as they are renewable”.