We invite you to discover material innovation’s limitless possibilities in creating a more nature-positive market – kinder to Mother Earth and better for business. Explore curated items crafted from pioneering vegan fibres, (re)using everything from mushrooms to waste. Aligned with the mission of the Terra Carta charter, our goal is simple: to increase investment in and incentivisation for innovation in the fashion industry, while reducing its impact on the environment.
WHAT IS MYCELIUM?
Time to read: 2 minutes
When most of us imagine mushrooms, we picture the bulbous caps that sprout up in gardens or forests. However, under that is mycelium – the naturally abundant and infinitely renewable root system of fungi. It is the internet of the natural world; a complex and connected network of lattices, weaving across and holding together the Earth’s surface.
In 2017, Stella McCartney partnered with the visionary scientists and innovators at Bolt Threads. They grow mycelium in a lab with just air, water and mulch to recreate a process that happens on the forest floor using ingredients found in nature and 100% renewable energy.
Bolt Threads calls this process to unleather: “The radical act of choosing products made sustainably with infinitely renewable mycelium over animal and synthetic-based materials.”
Over the course of the last 5,000 iterations or so, they have transformed mycelium into Mylo™️ – a verified vegan, certified bio-based alternative to animal leather that is soft, supple and with significantly lower environmental impacts.
No animals. Not plastic. Incredibly realistic.
Mylo™️ feels more substantial and elevated compared to other animal leather alternatives thanks to the way it is grown and tanned. The mycelium is harvested as a foamy layer. This is then treated by highly skilled artisans with expertise in tanning and dyeing.
These world experts have been recognised with global sustainability certifications and have helped to build a process designed for human health and safety and the lowest environmental impact. This finishing gives Mylo™️ the same luxury look and feel of animal leather, without the noxious chemicals of conventional tanning techniques that harm local communities and ecosystems.
When it comes to replacing cow leather, there is still ‘shroom for improvement. It is sourced from the animal agriculture complex, which is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse emissions and is driving the destruction of vital ecosystems like the Amazon rainforest as well as our own homes. Climate change means more floods and forest fires for us, and less time for us all.
How scalable is mycelium leather, you ask? The proof is in the products. During the Stella McCartney Summer 2022 show, we sent the world’s first mycelium leather bag down the runway. We have also already made the first-ever Mylo™️ bag and garments.
While we are still working with Bolt Threads to innovate and elevate Mylo™️’s durability and quality, we believe we’ve gotten to the root of the solution.
This is the first chapter in the story of how mycelium is the future of fashion.
- Animal agriculture accounts for approximately 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions and is driving the destruction of vital ecosystems.
- Leather tanning is often outsourced to developing countries, where people must work in poor conditions and are exposed to harmful and carcinogenic tanning chemicals. 90% of tannery workers in Bangladesh die before the age of 50.
- There is expected to be 4 billion tonnes of manure created by animal agriculture by 2030, largely from cows also raised for leather. This leeches into local waterways and pollutes the air with methane and other noxious greenhouse gases, creating massive environmental and health challenges.
- Mycelium is regenerative and thrives abundantly in the wild feeding on natural resources.
- The mycelium used in Mylo™️ is grown by Bolt Threads in a lab using just air, water and mulch — replicating a process that happens on the forest floor.
- Mylo™️ is DNA-verified vegan and certified bio-based, meaning it is made predominantly from renewable ingredients found in nature today.
WHAT IS VEGAN?
Time to read: 1 minute
Essential to ending the use of animal products in fashion is innovating realistic, durable and desirable alternatives to leather, fur and skins – and we need your help to drive private investment and incentivisation to encourage a more collaborative commitment to positive change.
Cruelty-free alternatives are significantly better for the planet. In fact, our vegan materials have an environmental impact that is up to 24 times lower than conventional animal leather. Moving towards an animal-free fashion industry is essential for saving all of our skins if we want to end the climate crisis.
Our vegan alternatives also use significantly less resources compared to animal leather, which requires 17,000 litres of water to make just one kilogram. That is equivalent to 60 full bathtubs. Animal agriculture is essential to produce leather and fur, and is driving the destruction of vital natural environments – from the Amazon through deforestation for cattle pastures or your own backyard through increased extreme weather, flooding or forest fires.
Vegan fashion is already desirable – and making a difference. In selling over 1 million of our iconic Falabella bags, we have helped save up to 400,000 cows’ lives and countless more animals by not contributing towards biodiversity loss.
In addition to creating clothing and accessories from cruelty-free alternatives to leather and fur in our collections, we have also partnered with industry giants like adidas on the world’s first vegan Stan Smiths and football boots – the Predator Freak, co-designed by legendary football player Paul Pogba. Proof that collaboration within the fashion industry can create beautiful products that consumers want, and our planet needs.
Ultimately, it is not only about saving animals’ lives but our own. The future of fashion –and our planet– is cruelty-free.
- Over 100 million animals die annually to provide the fashion industry’s fur and leather.
- The 1.5 to 5 million of kangaroos killed annually for leather are hunted in the wild, not farmed – a cruel practice impacting natural ecosystems.
- Glues used in fashion accessories are traditionally made by boiling the tissue of animals like horses, rabbits and fish.
- 17,000 litres of water are required to produce 1 kilogram of leather.
- The environmental impact of our animal- free, cruelty-free leather is up to 24 times lower than animal leathers.
- The Predator Freak unisex football boot is innovated with vegan DEMONSKIN rubber spikes instead of kangaroo leather.
- We exclusively use 100% animal-free glues or solvent-less designs to be truly cruelty-free, down to the smallest details.
- In selling over 1 million iconic Falabella bags, we have helped save up to 400,000 cows’ lives.
03 plant based
WHAT IS PLANT-BASED?
Time to read: 2 minutes
We need to get back to fashion’s roots. Our ancestors have been weaving together plant fibres since the Palaeolithic era. Today, we are using the most cutting-edge material science to innovate the organic materials of tomorrow: regenerative cotton and forest-friendly viscose.
Plant-based fibres are biodegradable, vegan and can be grown in a way that protects biodiversity instead of exploiting nature. We have already degraded 33% of the planet and it takes 2,700 litres of water to make one conventional cotton t-shirt – the equivalent of all the water you drink in 2.5 years. Through innovation and investment, we are pioneering alternatives that are safeguarding and even restoring Mother Earth.
Keep reading to see how plant-based materials are the future of fashion.
They say you are never more than three feet away from a spider. The same can likely be said of cotton. Half of all textiles are made out of it, from outerwear to underwear.
Cotton was first used as fabric in Peru in 6000 BCE. Now, it is grown on farms globally and employs over 250 million people. Thousands of years of innovation have led to regenerative cotton.
In 2019, we took steps to innovate and elevate our materials by collaborating on a regenerative cotton project with SÖKTAŞ, a 200-year-old Turkish farm and fabric producer.
What does regenerative cotton mean? Like organic cotton, it uses less water than industrial methods and no harmful chemicals or pesticides that may poison local communities and species. Regenerative cotton goes a few steps further by restoring critical habitats, benefiting biodiversity and improving soil health.
Healthier soils are able to drawdown and store more carbon. In fact, if this movement goes global, regenerative systems can drawdown more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions.
To grow our organic cotton, SÖKTAŞ covers the soil with a carefully selected mix of crops and seeds that keep it fertile, humid and nutritious year-round. In addition to using little to no conventional fertilisers, they also take manure from their own dairy farm and other organic materials to naturally nourish seeds.
Currently, their harvest yields about 60,000 metres of cotton fabric a week – enough to make 40,000 shirts. That’s the equivalent of you wearing a new t-shirt daily for almost 110 years. And SÖKTAŞ is doubling that output annually.
Forest-friendly viscose has been one of our most-used materials since 2017. This versatile fibre is made from wood pulp and features in our collections as everything from dresses to tailoring.
Every year, 150 million trees are cut down to create clothing – often from ancient and endangered forests. Already, 82% of forests have been degraded by human activities, which alters how they nourish themselves and access water. It also reduces the amount of carbon trees can store, putting it into our atmosphere and driving climate change.
Deforestation releases 3 billion tonnes of CO2 annually and destroys the homes of the 70% of land animals living in the world’s woods. Imagine if you were one of the millions of people around the world who also rely on forests for living and livelihood, only to see it all being cleared and cut away. We need a solution kinder to people and planet.
When Stella McCartney decided to branch out into forest-friendly viscose, we spent years searching for a supplier that met our stringent demands – both in terms of luxury quality and breathability, as well as meeting our environmental responsibility standards.
We ultimately landed on a sustainably managed, FSC-certified forest in Sweden run by ENKA, who can help us trace our materials back to the tree they came from. This also ensures that no deforestation ever happens – meaning no ancient or endangered forests are destroyed, and the welfare of workers and local communities are protected.
Join us in planting the seeds of a better, more innovative fashion industry.
- Each year, 150 million trees are cut down for fashion – many from the world’s most ancient and endangered forests.
- 82% of the world’s remaining forests are degraded to some extent as a result of direct human actions.
- It takes 2,700 litres of water to make one conventional cotton t-shirt – the equivalent of 2.5 years’ drinking water.
- Plant-based fibres are biodegradable, vegan and can be grown in a way that protects biodiversity instead of exploiting nature.
- If achieved globally, regenerative systems can drawdown more than 100% of current annual CO2 emissions.
- Sustainable viscose ensures that no deforestation occurs – meaning no ancient or endangered forests are destroyed, and the welfare of workers and local communities are protected.
WHAT IS REGENERATED?
Time to read: 1 minute
Fashion has a waste solution. Regenerated fibres mean we can actively be a part of a circular economy. Instead of producing limitless waste, we can create endless possibilities.
We have partnered with ECONYLⓇ and Evrnu so that old materials can become new again.
ECONYLⓇ uses industrial waste, post-consumer textiles destined for landfill and ocean plastics to create virgin-quality regenerated nylon that feels luxuriously silky and durable. At the end of its life, it can be recycled, remade and remoulded again. In 2020, ECONYLⓇ collaborated with fishermen and divers to collect 75,000 kg of fishing nets from the ocean bed.
We use this versatile material for everything from ready-to-wear to the linings of sneakers. Since we started using ECONYLⓇ in 2017, we have prevented over 10 tonnes of nylon from going to landfill – reducing our global warming impact by 90% compared to using virgin fibres.
Evrnu’s NuCycl™ fibres are made to be remade, created through a process that liquifies cotton textiles. These are then blended with wood pulp and regenerated into breathable cellulose fibres that can be transformed into virgin-quality jersey, denim or twill that is effortlessly comfortable and ultra-soft to the touch.
We collaborated with adidas to produce the first-ever 100% recyclable hoodie made from garment waste using Evrnu’s NuCycl™.
This is only the first step towards giving all garments a second life.
- Only 1% of textiles are recycled globally, sending a garbage truck-full to landfill every second.
- It is estimated that the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions – more than international flights and maritime shipping combined.
- Using recycled and regenerative nylon reduces the global warming impact of nylon up to 90% compared with virgin materials.
- Since we started using ECONYLⓇ in 2017, we have prevented over 10 tonnes of nylon from going to landfill.
- ECONYLⓇ reduces the global warming impact of nylon by up to 90% compared with virgin petroleum-based materials.
- Both ECONYLⓇ and NuCycl™️ garments can be recycled and remade into new textiles at the end of their lives.
STOP THE USE OF ANIMAL LEATHER AND FUR
To protect our shared future, I pledge to consciously reduce the amount of animal-based products I consume in order to combat the climate and biodiversity crises. I call upon all industries to join me in this effort by ending the use of animal leathers and fur.
Sign the petition to stop the use of animal leather and fur.