Ecovative, the mycelium technology company, announced a cooperative research partnership with Vivobarefoot, a prominent sustainable footwear manufacturer, and PANGAIA, a materials science developer.
Vivobarefoot and PANGAIA will join the Fashion for Good Cooperative as part of their combined research, working directly with the Ecovative team to co-develop unique mycelium materials for use in their respective footwear and fashion goods.
As the fashion industry's waste streams expand, manufacturers are being pressured to use materials that are both high-performing and generated sustainably. Every year, more than 20 billion pairs of shoes are made, with PVC and EVA accounting for roughly 35% of the materials used. This corresponds to millions of pounds of garbage that will take hundreds of years to degrade. A lack of supply chain transparency and a significant carbon footprint in the fashion industry — which accounts for as much as 10% of global carbon emissions, according to some estimates — has sparked a surge in demand for eco-friendly materials. There is an urgent need for environmentally friendly alternatives, but they frequently come with significant drawbacks: they are more expensive, perform poorly, or are difficult to scale. Using one of nature's super materials, mycelium, Ecovative has pioneered technology that makes it feasible to produce completely sustainable, all-natural materials at scale to replace plastic, styrofoam, and leather.
Galahad Clark, CEO and founder at Vivobarefoot, said that Mycelium is one of the most adaptable and high-performing bio-materials on the planet. It has the potential to replace petroleum-based foams that are so widespread in the footwear industry, tragically, including theor own value chains. From the beginning, Vivobarefoot has been devoted to employing sustainably sourced, natural, bio-based, and recycled materials as a natural health company. They're ecstatic to collaborate with Ecovative on the next generation of high-performance, regenerative footwear that will bring them closer to nature and their true human potential.
Vivobarefoot and PANGAIA collaborate with Ecovative's team of mycologists, engineers, and designers to create a line of fungus-based, petroleum-free foams and hides for their footwear. Ecovative has already developed two products for the fashion and footwear industries using its AirMycelium™ platform: Forager™ hides, Ecovative's alternative leather material, and Forager foams, both made of pure mycelium. Forager goods are made from natural ingredients and can be composted at home. It takes only 9 days to develop full-size hides in sheets up to 24 meters long and 1.8 meters wide. Forager foams and skins are made from agricultural leftovers and are fully plastic-free, making them a viable, scalable, and high-performing alternative to the ubiquitous and environmentally destructive petroleum found in foam and leather currently used in wearable items around the world.
Gavin McIntyre, Ecovative's Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, said that their team has been working on bio-based alternatives that function at the same level as traditional foams and leathers for more than a decade. They're ecstatic to collaborate with Vivobarefoot, a firm dedicated to sustainability, to introduce next-generation mycelium materials to the footwear industry.
BESTSELLER and PVH Corp., who will also work with Ecovative on developing next-generation mycelium materials for sustainable fashion goods, have joined the Cooperative alongside Vivobarefoot and PANGAIA.
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