Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger Join Plastic-Free Vegan Leather Movement

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PVH Corp., the parent company of fashion brands Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, is joining the plastic-free vegan leather movement by partnering with biotech company Ecovative. The partnership will give PVH priority access to sustainable vegan leather from Ecovative made from fast growing mycelium (fungal root systems). PVH will also work directly with Ecovative to co-develop custom mycelium materials to offer a range of retail products, from soft vegan leather accessories and clothing to thick and durable belts and shoes.

For over a decade, Ecovative has been producing mycelium materials for partners in North America, Europe and Asia. Earlier this year, the company launched Forager Hides, a vegan leather based on Ecovative’s second-generation mycelium materials, to help solve sustainability challenges in the fashion industry. The 100% bio-based material is grown in sheets up to 24 meters (78 feet) in length and 1.8 meters (6 feet) in width, and can be grown according to partners’ specific needs for tensile strength, density and orientation of fibers. While it takes months or years to raise animals for their skin, the growth process of Ecovative Forager only takes nine days and results in a material ready to finish without plastic or oil.

Ecovative’s latest innovation is its high throughput mycelium foundry which modulates the tensile strength, density and orientation of the mycelium fibers that make up forage skins. Because of its compact, upright design, the First Farm is designed to produce three million square feet of leather-like material per year on just one acre of land.

“At PVH, we are excited to explore innovations that reduce the environmental impact of our products,” said Rebecca England, Vice President of Innovation, PVH Europe, in a statement. “Mycelium offers us the opportunity to respond to the growing consumer interest in low impact products while supporting quality and design that meet the needs and expectations of our consumers, in this case, made from resources. 100% biobased. We look forward to testing and learning alongside our partners to create scalable and sustainable solutions. “

In addition to PVH, Ecovative has partnered with BESTSELLER, which owns 20 brands such as ONLY, JACK & JONES and VERO MODA, which will also explore the possibilities of its vegan mushroom leather. VegNewsBoltSonsVeganMushroomBag

Vegan mushroom leather takes over

Ecovative is part of an emerging industry of material producers who use mushrooms instead of animal skins to make leather, and they are incorporating the biggest fashion brands. Last year, fashion industry giants Adidas, Stella McCartney, Lululemon and Kering, a luxury fashion group that manages the development of brands such as Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen, teamed up. to biotech start-up Bolt Threads, for exclusive access to Bolt Threads’ Mylo material, which also uses fast-growing mycelium to create vegan leather.

Products resulting from the partnership include Stella McCartney’s Frayme Mylo handbag, the first commercially available product made from Bolt Threads’ vegan mushroom leather. The handbag made its runway debut as part of Stella McCartney’s Summer 2022 collection presentation at Paris Fashion Week. Inspired by McCartney’s iconic Falabella bag, the Frayme Mylo features vegan mushroom leather wrapped in an oversized recyclable aluminum chain strap and embellished with a zamac medallion. VegNews.StellaMcCartneyVeganMushroomCuir4

“For my summer 2022 collection, I was so inspired by mushrooms and their incredible potential to save our planet – and the Frayme Mylo embodies that hope for the future,” McCartney said in a statement. “Our long-time partners at Bolt Threads and I have a common passion for material innovation and the launch of a luxury mycelium leather Mylo handbag is a milestone not only for us, but for the world. What you see on the catwalks today is the conscious fashion industry of tomorrow.

McCartney previously worked with Bolt Threads to develop a replacement for animal-derived silk in its collections with the startup’s yeast-based silk. “A lot of people associate leather with luxury, but from the start I’ve always wanted to approach it differently because killing animals for fashion is just not acceptable,” said McCartney. “Working so closely with Bolt Threads since 2017 has been a career-changing experience and I look forward to bringing Mylo products to market in 2021.”

To learn more about vegan leather, read:
Two guys in Mexico just made vegan leather from cacti
Dole signs deal to turn pineapple leaves into vegan leather
Volvo goes leatherless

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