Hermès Announces Decision To Make Leather Handbags From Mushrooms

The French luxury brand Hermès has plans to release its first leather handbag made out of mushrooms. This leather-like material is to be the first grown in a lab. Hermès has partnered with California-based start-up MycoWorks.

Designer lovers and eco-conscious people alike can look forward to the newest addition of popular name-brand Hermès line of luxury handbags. Set apart from their usual bags, this new line of travel bags will be made of canvas, calfskin, and “Sylvania”–  a mushroom-derived, amber-hued material, as reported by South China Morning Post. Available by the end of this year, Hermès mushroom-inspired handbag vision wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration from California start-up MycoWorks.

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Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès artistic director, expressed how MycoWorks vision and values coincide with the company’s “quest for excellence, with the aim of ensuring that objects are put to their best use and that their longevity is maximized.” This isn’t the first collaboration the luxury company has had experience with; in 2015, Hermès teamed up with Apple to create a leather strap for the Apple Watch.

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The startup MycoWorks is produces biomaterials from mycelium, which is the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony. Founded in 2013 by Philip Ross, Sophia Wang, and Eddie Pavlu, MycoWorks leads their company with the technology in which originates in an open science approach to learning. Dubbed Reishi Fine Mycelium, Mycoworks boasts that it will be the next evolution in mycelium which will offer consumers a premium, natural option for leather.

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MycoWorks is partnered with Curtidos Badia, a Catalonian tannery partner, which is a fourth-generation owned tannery. The family-owned company is known for its respectable quality with always the same mission: to create something beautiful and new. Through years of testing to prove that Reishi matches the strength and durability with woven structure resembles the tight, triple-helix of collagen, the story of this company is one of superior quality.

CEO of MycoWorks, Matt Scullin, expressed excitement over the collaboration with the French luxury handbag in a statement, “We could not imagine a better partner than Hermès to present our first object made of Fine Mycelium. Hermès and MycoWorks share common values of craftsmanship, quality, innovation, and patience.”

This three years in the making collaboration is finally going to be launched, with both parties extremely excited for the opportunity to work alongside one another. Congratulations to both of the companies!

READ NEXT: Luxury Shoe Brand To Look Into Fruit Skins For Sustainable Leather

Sources: Forbes, South China Morning Post

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