Ecovative, a mycelium technology business, announced the formation of an international sustainable fashion cooperative with founding members BESTSELLER and PVH Corp. These businesses will have first access to Ecovative's mycelium innovations via its Forager™ Hides platform and will work directly with the Ecovative team to co-develop unique mycelium materials for a variety of end products and consumer uses as part of the cooperative. Fashion for Good, a worldwide innovation platform, was instrumental in bringing these partners together to accelerate the development of petroleum-free vegan leather.
Ecovative's dedication to sustainable fashion is shared by BESTSELLER and PVH Corp. To produce mycelium solutions for their products, their designers will collaborate with Ecovative's team of engineers and mycologists. Members of the Fashion for Good Cooperative will use their knowledge of the fashion business to collaborate with Ecovative on a research and development plan that includes design, construction, and testing. The cooperative will work together to develop mycelium materials for the consumer market.
Rebecca England, VP Innovation, PVH Europe, said that at PVH, they’re thrilled to investigate technologies that lessen the environmental effect of their products. Mycelium allows them to respond to increased consumer desire in lower-impact products while also supporting quality and design that exceed their customers' needs and expectations - in this case, produced entirely of bio-based materials. They're excited to test and learn alongside their partners to develop scalable, long-term solutions.
Anders Schorling Overgård, BESTSELLER's Sustainable Materials Engineer, said that Mycelium has a lot of potential in the world of fashion innovation, and it even goes beyond their own business. They're excited to get started on product development and learn more about the aesthetics and performance of Ecovative's new materials in the lab. Through this pilot, they will obtain a better understanding of mycelium as a leather substitute that is both biodegradable and totally bio-based.
Ecovative has been generating mycelium materials for partners in North America, Europe, and Asia for over a decade. In March 2021, the company introduced Forager™ Hides, an alternative leather substance. Forager™ Hides are made using Ecovative's second-generation mycelium material, which has been developed over the course of more than five years in Ecovative's Mycelium Foundry. The 100% bio-based mycelium material is grown in sheets up to 24 meters long and 1.8 meters wide and may be customized for tensile strength, density, and fiber orientation to meet the needs of partners. The complete growth process takes only 9 days and results in a finished product that is devoid of plastic scrims and petroleum-based coatings.
Gavin McIntyre, Ecovative Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer, said that by combining innovation and tradition, they can focus on what they do better than anybody else in the world: producing the best mycelium at a commercial scale. They develop beautiful, high-performing, and sustainable materials without harming animals or the environment by working directly with fashion manufacturers and tanneries.
Ecovative scientists can fine-tune their product to fit a wide range of end product needs, from soft and supple leather accessories and clothes to sturdy and thick belts and shoes.
Katrin Ley, Managing Director of Fashion for Good, said that biomaterials have been under development for years, but only a small percentage of buyers have seen them. Ecovative has been concentrating on scaling its technologies in order to provide mycelium at the volume required by industry leaders such as BESTSELLER and PVH Corp. This is a significant step forward in the effort to scale up these solutions and make them more accessible.
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