Sustainability is more than a megatrend in our society is an urgent action for all industries, including Fashion and Design. Brands are putting their efforts to commit to the planet, renounce exotic skins and replace them with new materials alternatives. Called “the new sustainable material of the future”, mycelium is made from the vegetative root networks of mushrooms. This regenerative natural material can be bioengineered into almost any shape, and it has a lower carbon footprint because it requires only a fraction of the land, water, food, and time to grow compared to animal resources.
The fashion industry has shown its interest in this material by piloting mushroom-based leather products and has formed investor partnerships with mycelium innovators.
In Indonesia, MYCL, a mycelium innovator, partnered with footwear and lifestyle brand Bro.do is launching sneakers, sandals, wallets, luggage tags, and watch straps made of Mylea material. Sumayyah Abdurrahman, MYCL’s Account Executive explains that the technology is inspired by Indonesia’s traditional food called tempe, in which mycelium can bind soybeans. One of MYCL’s most innovative products is the Mycelium Leather, MYLEA, a material that can be grown in only about two months, unlike animal leather, and is also scalable because it can adopt vertical farming. They also utilize waste as their raw materials and do not use harmful chemicals in their production process.
MYCL has collaborated with several local brands in Indonesia who share aligned visions regarding mycelium leather and that are willing to grow together with them. One of these is HijackSandals, with whom they developed mushroom sandals that will be launched in Japan Tokyo, August 2021. They have also collaborated with Pala Nusantara to produce a smartwatch strap, becoming their second project together.
There are many challenges in changing the fashion industry consumer mindset towards a more sustainable direction. “The main challenge for the market is adaptability towards new materials, as new materials are mostly still produced in smaller quantities, which means lower economics of scale that relates to their higher prices.” Says Sumayyah Abdurrahman.
MYCL has been investing all its efforts since day one to bring Mylea to the market as soon as possible and find the shortest path to scalability. This creates a positive impact by presenting the market with an affordable alternative for unsustainable conventional materials such as PU or PVC-based synthetic leather.
Here Fashion Hub is always focused on searching every theme concerned with sustainability. In this way, we are very pleased to have known more about the history of MYCL and its mycelium leather.