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All you need to know

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The non-profit association Vesti la natura provides several free guides specially created to promote the use of cruelty free materials among consumers and entrepreneurs.

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Mylo is a vegan skin born from mycelium and fungi

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Please note:: nuove provisions on the use of the terms "leather", "skin" and "fur" and those derived from them or their synonyms. This decree contains provisions relating to the definition and use of the terms "leather", "leather", "full grain leather", "coated leather", "coated leather", "fur" and "regenerated leather fibers" and to the labeling and marking of the materials as well as of the artifacts with them manufactured, if they are indicated, with the same terms, by any modalita 'of presentation and communication, including electronically, in order to provide correct information to the consumer. Read the decree.

What Mylo?

Mylo is an alternative to skin of animal origin created from the mycelium of fungi. We can define it leatherette, mushroom skin, vegan skin or vegetable, but for those who do not know, we warn you that these terms are no longer usable in Italy for commercial purposes.

Mylo is a vegan leather used to make footwear, bags, wallets, phone cases and other leather goods.

Soil breakdown with mycelium and fungus

The mycelium grows beneath our feet, it is an infinitely sprawling web rinnovabile, infiltrates the soil, plants and along rivers to provide nutrients to plants and trees. Just like branches and vines that make apples and grapes grow, the mycelium twists and branches just below the earth's surface and makes its fruits grow: mushrooms.

We also have a guide to Muskin, another alternative material to leather derived from fungi, but Mylo it is different in many respects which we will see later.

A team of scientists and engineers from the company Bolt threads they have developed a state-of-the-art process to grow and transform the mycelium into an alternative to animal skin. The process begins with mycelium cells grown in sawdust mixed with other organic material. Billions of cells grow to form an interconnected 3D network, which is processed, tanned, and finally colored to produce Mylo, a latest generation mushroom skin.

The mycelium used to produce Mylo it is grown from mulch and grows in a few weeks relative to the resources needed, for example, to raise livestock.

Mylo it is also certified organic, which means that it is mainly composed of ingredients rinnovabiles that occur in nature (but not entirely). Using the principles of green chemistry, Mylo it is created through a highly efficient and rigorously designed process to reduce the environmental impact from the beginning to the end of the production cycle.

Mylo it can take on any color, relief or texture and can be used as an alternative to genuine leather or synthetic leatherette.

According to the declarations of the producers it is defined "substantial, supple and soft". Mylo has an unmistakable resemblance to animal skin, but is designed to have a low environmental impact and be 100% cruelty-free.

The main problem with this material is that we will hardly see it accessible for all fashion brands. The sponsors of the project will keep it tight for a few more years:

  • Adidas
  • Kering
  • lululemon
  • Stella McCartney

Let's imagine you've heard of Stella McCartney and its campaigns aimed at sustainable fashion and cruelty free, she has never been satisfied with the status quo. A visionary that Vogue called "the conscience of fashion". Stella redefines luxury by excluding animal skin, le fur coats and feathers. And being one of the first designers to use Mylo, his figure was instrumental in giving life to Mylo.

Paris Jackson wears suit made in Mylo by Stella McCartney.jpg

Stella McCartney debuted with the first garments Mylo in March 2021, worn by the environmental actress paris Jackson in an exclusive Vogue service. The bustier top and utilitarian pants were handcrafted with sheets of Mylo laid on recycled nylon scuba.

This peek into the design process shows the promise of Mylo: a vegan skin that symbolizes the nuova era of sustainable fashion.

In April 2021 Adidas made its debut with the Stan Smith Mylo of which we speak in this article, the first shoe ever made with Mylo. To show the future of material innovation, Adidas has chosen to use Mylo in one of the most iconic sneakers of all time, the Stan Smith.

“This reinvented classic allows Adidas to scale quickly Mylo through a silhouette loved around the world, paving the way for a better future and paying homage to their legacy. The outer upper, perforated 3-Stripes and heel tab overlay are all made with Mylo and the shoe's midsole is made with natural rubber to unlock a more sustainable future " the Bolt Threads team

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How comes product Mylo?

Imagine being able to reproduce what happens under the forest floor, but in a closed and controlled environment: spores of mycelic cells are taken and fed with sawdust and organic material by expert mushroom growers in vertical agricultural structures.

The mycelium grows in a foamy layer, we can imagine it as a large sack of crushed marshmallows. Once the mycelium has been collected, the scientists can proceed with the creation of the “sheets of Mylo”And the remaining by-products are composted, to make the process even greener.

Mylo vegan leather as an alternative to that of animal origin

Mylo is a certified bio-based vegan leather, which means that it is mainly composed of mycelium and resource derived inputs rinnovabile. This certification is awarded through bio-based tests by DIN CERTCO.

Mylo is it a cruelty free (vegan) material?

Yes, even if the term vegan means different things to different people. For some, it means a diet free of animal products (such as meat, dairy, eggs, honey, etc.). For others, it goes beyond the diet and includes avoiding any products of animal origin, such as leather, feathers and silk. In any case, Mylo it is not composed of products or by-products of animal origin.

Mylo is it more sustainable than animal skin?

Since leather has been on the market for decades and the material Mylo is still in small-scale production, it is too early to have an independent environmental footprint study of Mylo. The longevity of this material will be a key point: leather is one of the longest-lived materials, it is not uncommon to own a pair of leather shoes for more than 10 years, while as regards alternative materials to leather we have already found that they have a significantly shorter duration, and what's more they are not even recyclable like leather.

Samples of Mylo of black and camel colors

Certainly, unlike the production of leather, the production of Mylo it does not involve raising livestock. The great demand for meat and materials of animal origin cannot be met by using the land and water available on our planet. We need smarter and more sustainable solutions: cultivated mycelium to realize Mylo it is produced in a few days, unlike the resource-intensive and years-long process of raising livestock.

Also, for the dyeing of Mylo world tanning and dyeing experts were consulted, all to build a production process designed for human health and safety and at the same time able to guarantee a reduced environmental impact.

The processing and finishing chemicals were evaluated and selected using the principles of green chemistry: Mylo It is free of hazardous substances such as chromium and DMFa, two of the most harmful chemicals used in both animal and synthetic skin.

Mylo is it more sustainable than synthetic leather?

Mylo it is the result of biotechnology, so we can consider it an artificial rather than a synthetic material.

Unlike synthetic leather, which is usually made with a synthetic fabric and a polyurethane or PVC coating, vegan leather Mylo it consists of mycelium not from petroleum. In addition, the chemicals of processing and finishing of the material Mylo they are intentionally evaluated and selected using the principles of green chemistry.

The manufacturing company (Bolt Threads) has stated that in 2022 it will share with the world the results of an individual sustainability study on Mylo. We await it with curiosity, become a member of Vesti la natura to be informed as soon as it is available.

Mylo is it biodegradable?

No, the material Mylo it is neither biodegradable nor recyclable, as most of these alternative materials to real leather are not. We therefore hope that versions of Mylo biodegradable, or at least reusable for as long as possible to be returned to natural and industrial systems and close a cycle that is as sustainable and circular as possible.

Characteristics of Mylo

Material Quality:

The qualities of the material may vary depending on the blending with other fibers. Example: with Elastan or Lycra you gain in elasticity.

  Does not shrink / discolor
  Quick drying

Ecological Characteristics:

The ecological characteristics of the fabric may vary based on textile certifications or blending with other fabrics.

  Natural - Artificial - Synthetic  
  No GMOs
  Natural raw material
  Recycled raw material
  Mechanical extraction
  Chemical extraction
  Energy saving
  Sustainability class  

Textile Certifications:

The certifications that can be assigned to the material, but which vary according to different factors: production company, fashion brand, mixing.

Global Organic Textile Standard
Organic Content Standard
Global Recycle Standard
Second Life Plastic
Animal Free
Fair Wear Foundation

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Who produces Mylo?

Bolt threads, a materials solutions company based in Emeryville, California. "Mylo was created by a team of world-class scientists and engineers with the help of a select group of partners who adhere to the main principles of sustainability and maintain ethical working conditions " (Adidas, Kering, lululemon, Stella McCartney).

Visit the official site for more information on Bolt Threads

I can buy Mylo?

No, Bolt Threads seems to be overwhelmed by the demand for Mylo by fashion brands. Currently Mylo is not available for sale, except to consortium partners, but they claim that “We are working to increase the offer to work with other brands and designers in the future, we therefore hope that this future is not too distant.

Why Mylo is it only available for big brands?

The short answer is: revolutionary technology takes a long time. In this sentence Mylo it all depends on the big brands that subsidize the enormous costs involved in developing a nuovo manufacturing process and building a supply chain to produce on a commercial scale.

Accessibility appears to be an attainable goal for Mylo and, although it is not currently available for sale they are working to increase the offer so that they can collaborate with other brands and designers in the future.

Buy products in Mylo

A showcase where you can find Sustainable, ethical and cruelty free fashion brands guaranteed by the supervision of our association:

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How to wash Mylo?

The environmental impact of laundry detergents and household cleaners is devastating to our planet, so we highly recommend using ecological detergents.

Mylo it is an imitation leather and as such it requires a lot of attention during washing. Faux leathers are more delicate than leather of animal origin, so we recommend removing stains / encrustations with a smooth sponge soaked in a little water and a pinch of ecological detergent. If the stain persists, let it soak for 5/8 minutes.

Do you want to wash your clothes while minimizing water pollution?

  1. We have selected one of the most sustainable detergent and detergent brands click here to buy an ecological detergent
  2. You could use a Washing Ball to wash without using detergents click here to buy a washing ball
  3. You could use the nuovissimo Ecoegg, a nice ecological egg with which you can do about 720 washes click here to buy the ecoegg egg


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