Ecovative, based in Green Island, New York, is launching an international sustainable fashion cooperative with global brands Bestseller and PVH Corp. as founding members.

The brands will have priority access to Ecovative’s mycelium innovations through its Forager Hides platform and will work directly with the Ecovative team to co-develop custom mycelium materials for a range of end products and consumer applications. Fashion for Good was integral in bringing these parties together to advance a petroleum-free vegan leather. 

Bestseller and PVH Corp. designers will work in tandem with Ecovative’s team of engineers and members in the Fashion for Good Cooperative will bring their fashion industry expertise to work with Ecovative in a design, build and test research and development strategy.

“At PVH we are excited to explore innovations that reduce the environmental impact of our products,” said Rebecca England, VP of nnovation, PVH Europe. “Mycelium provides us with an opportunity to respond to growing consumer interest in lower impact products while supporting quality and design that meet the needs and expectations of our consumers –  in this case, made with 100% bio-based resources. We look forward to testing and learning alongside our partners to create scalable, sustainable solutions.”

“Mycelium shows great potential in the fashion innovation sphere which extends far beyond our own industry,” added Anders Schorling Overgård, Bestseller’s sustainable materials engineer. “We are keen on diving into the product development phase and really understanding the aesthetics and actual performance of Ecovative’s materials in the lab. This pilot will enable us to gain more insight into mycelium as a leather alternative.”

Ecovative has more than a decade of experience producing mycelium materials for partners throughout North America, Europe and Asia. The company launched ForagerT Hides, its alternative leather material, in March 2021. ForagerT Hides are based on second-generation mycelium material, building on more than five years of research and development in the Mycelium Foundry. The 100% bio-based mycelium material is grown in sheets up to 24 metres in length and 1.8 metres wide, and can be grown to specific needs in terms of tensile strength, density and fibre orientation. The entire growth process takes only nine days and yields a ready-to-finish material free of plastic scrims and petroleum based coatings.

From soft and supple leather accessories and garments to durable and thick belts and shoes, Ecovative scientists are able to fine-tune their product to meet a wide array of end product needs.