Sportswear and workout clothes manufacturer Adidas recently unveiled the Mylo Stan Smith, a vegan version of its iconic Stan Smith sneakers made with mushroom-based leather.
These concept shoes were made in association with Bolt Threads, which supplied Mylo, a vegan leather made from mycelium, the fast-growing root systems of mushrooms.
While leather is grown on an animal and takes years, the mycelium used in Mylo grows in less than two weeks. The material is renewable, environmentally friendly, and looks and performs the same way as traditional leather.
The outer upper, the perforated stripes, the heel, and premium branding are all made with Mylo while the sole is made with natural rubber.
“The introduction of Mylo as a new material is a major step forward in our bold ambition to help end plastic waste,”
“As a planet, we must learn to work with nature rather than against it and put all our efforts into finding innovative solutions that are created responsibly with resources that renew at a sustainable pace, designed in synergy with earth’s ecosystems. And as a brand, we continue to explore the possibilities in material innovation.”Amy Jones Vaterlaus, Global Head of Future at Adidas
Though the Mylo Stan Smith is still a concept shoe, Adidas expects to release these vegan sneakers shortly. By creating the iconic Stan Smith shoes with a Mylo, Adidas is sending a message demonstrating the far-reaching potential of this innovative material.
The introduction of the Mylo Stan Smith follows Adidas’s launch of the “Our Icons Go Vegan” initiative, where the shoe brand is creating vegan versions of its classic styles.
This collection includes both the Samba and Continental 80, both carrying an “Adidas Original Vegan” logo and made with animal-free materials, down to the glue.
Adidas released the first vegan Stan Smith back in 2018 in partnership with designer Stella McCartney. Since the release of the vegan sneakersMcCartney has also begun experimenting with Mylo, when last month she became the first designer to feature the mushroom leather in two concept pieces: a bustier and trousers.
Adidas and McCartney are part of the Mylo Consortium—a multi-brand partnership Bolt Threads announced in 2020 that includes Lululemon and Kering.
In addition to mushroom leather, a continuously increasing number of brands are now using other environmentally friendly leather alternatives.
Karl Lagerfeld, H&M, and Fossil, recently launched collections made with Desserto a leather made from cactus leaves.