Alternative-materials innovator, Ecovative launched the Fashion for Good Cooperative, which will work with members to develop custom mycelium materials as well as other 100 percent bio-based products. | Photo courtesy of Ecovative
As of Thursday, December 16, 2021
Mycelium-technology company Ecovative has announced the launch of its Fashion for Good international sustainable-fashion cooperative, as Bestseller and PVH Corp. joined as founding members. Innovation platform Fashion for Good connected the three companies as they sought greater opportunities to promote fashion sustainability with Ecovative’s second-generation mycelium-leather alternative, Forager Hides, which launched in March 2021, at the center of the collaboration.
“Working directly with fashion brands and tanneries, we make beautiful, high-performing and sustainable materials without harming animals or the planet,” said Gavin McIntyre, Ecovative co-founder and chief business officer.
Working within the cooperative, Bestseller and PVH Corp. will collaborate with Ecovative in the development of custom mycelium materials.
“Mycelium provides us with an opportunity to respond to growing consumer interest in lower-impact products while supporting quality and design that meets the needs and expectations of our consumers—in this case, made with 100 percent bio-based resources,” said Rebecca England, vice president of innovation for PVH Europe.
Forager Hides were developed in Ecovative’s Mycelium Foundry and are grown in sheets that measure up to 24 meters, or nearly 79 feet, in length, and 1.8 meters, or around 6 feet, in width. Forager Hides can be made according to specific tensile strength, density and fiber orientation. The growth process takes nine days.
“Mycelium shows great potential in the fashion-innovation sphere—it even extends far beyond our own industry,” said Bestseller Sustainable Materials Engineer Anders Schorling Overgård. “This pilot enables us to gain more insight into mycelium as a leather alternative, which ultimately is both biodegradable and fully bio-based.”
Among the products that Ecovative scientists are known to create are softer mycelium-leather accessories and garments in addition to more-durable belts and shoes.
“Biomaterials have been in development for years, but they have yet to reach even a small portion of customers,” said Katrin Ley, managing director of Fashion for Good. “Ecovative has been focused on scaling its technologies to deliver mycelium at the scale necessary for industry leaders like Bestseller and PVH Corp.”