The Future Of Fashion Is Plant-Based
The quest to make fashion sustainable is nothing new. Gen-Z especially is concerned with sustainable fashion and supporting ethical brands. But now we’re seeing a new take on sustainable fashion. In spring 2021, the obsession with mushrooms in fashion emerged. Fungi-inspired fashion marked the beginning of companies using bio-engineered materials, including leather alternatives.
Designers like Stella McCartney and Hermès are leading the transition from animal-made materials to sustainable, bio-engineered fabrics. These designers as well as other brands like Adidas and Lululemon are working with biotech companies to develop new material.
Mushrooms Prints And Patterns
Many designers who dropped collections in the Spring of 2021 used mushrooms and other aspects of nature as inspiration. Some designers intended the collections to hint at the future of plant-based material in fashion.
Iris Van Herpen’s Spring 2021 collection featured gowns inspired by nature, specifically mushrooms. The idea that nature is connected to everything was the concept of the show.
“It is beautiful to see that within nature there is already this ‘wood wide web’ that shows very strong parallels to our own digital communication systems,” Van Herpen told Harper’s Bazaar. “During the pandemic there has been a realization of our own fragility on this planet. More and more I started to see couture as a platform for new ideas.”
Stella McCartney also used fungi as inspiration for her spring 2022 runway show. The show was accompanied by music made from the sounds of mushrooms growing in nature. McCartney is no stranger to sustainable fashion, and the brand’s spring 2022 collection is no different. McCartney is now working with the company Bolt Threads to develop a mushroom-based fabric.
Eco-Friendly Fabrics & Leather Alternatives
Bolt Threads is a company based in California that is working on eco-friendly leather alternatives. Mycelium leather is a sustainable alternative to animal leather. Because mycelium leather is bio-engineered in a lab, the process of sourcing and producing uses less water, environmental resources, and emits fewer greenhouse gases.
Stella McCartney, Lululemon, and Adidas joined together in 2021 to finance Bolt Threads’ development of a new mycelium leather called Mylo. But Mylo is not the only eco-friendly fabric on the market.
Modern Meadow, another biotech company is creating its own sustainable material. Joined with textile and material company Limonta, Modern Meadow is working on a bio-manufactured, plant-based fabric called BioFabbrica.
The goal of eco-friendly leather products is that it performs as well or better than animal leather. The companies want bio-engineered leather to be able to bend, color, and last, as if it were animal leather.
According to The Spin Off, Modern Meadows showed prototypes with their new material, Bio-Alloy in October 2021. They plan to make the collection available in February 2022 it will be their first BioFabbrica collection.