Nowadays, fashion consumers have increasingly linked the two terms “fashion and environmental protection”. The survey shows that the carbon emissions produced by the fashion industry account for more than 8% of the global carbon emissions, more than the aviation industry and shipping industry combined – the non-profit organization global fashion agenda pointed out in a report “the impact of the fashion industry on the climate” in cooperation with McKinsey, The fashion industry needs to reduce carbon emissions by half by 2030 in order to achieve the goals set by the Paris climate agreement.
In 2018, the fashion industry released the climate action Charter of fashion industry at the climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, expecting the industry to achieve the vision of net zero emissions by 2050 Facing the increasing pressure of environmental protection, the fashion industry needs to consider more industrial upgrading plans. The chief sustainable development officer of Kaiyun group once said in his speech: “organic cotton, organic wool and sustainable cashmere can only reduce the carbon footprint by about 20%. If we need to achieve the goal of reducing emission by 40%, we must find disruptive material innovation.” For the high-end fashion industry, mining “next generation materials” has become an increasingly urgent goal in corporate responsibility.
In addition, the rise of pure leather has an important relationship with the increasing attention of the fashion industry to animal welfare. The growing demand for “animal free” since the beginning of this century has spread to a large number of familiar brands. Stella McCartney has sold “animal free” products since its establishment in 2001; In 2017, gucci took the lead in banning the use of fur by other brands under kering, and implemented the promise of zero fur from the spring and summer series of 2018; In 2018, Chanel announced that the brand would prohibit the use of animal fur and rare animal skins such as crocodiles, lizards and snakes in its product line. Recently, moncler and Dolce & Gabbana also announced to join the “zero fur” campaign.
For this reason, among many “next generation materials” categories, including leather and silk, material R & D companies, investment institutions, scientific researchers and fashion brands have focused on leather substitutes. Nowadays, using mycelium as a sustainable material to replace leather has become a more high-end choice.
Not long ago, mycoworks, a biomaterial start-up company widely known for its first cooperation with Hermes in the spring of 2021, announced that it had obtained a round C financing of US $125 million. Even mirabaud lifestyle impact & Innovation Fund, founded by David Wertheimer, the fifth generation successor of Chanel, participated in this round of investment, It shows that the company is named “Reishi” ™) The commercial value contained in the patented process of high-quality mycelium is being concerned by more investors.
So far, mycoworks, which focuses on luxury goods, has received thousands of cooperation requests from various fashion brands and signed contracts with many major luxury brands around the world. Matt Scullin, CEO of mycoworks, said, “give me any luxury brand you know well, mycoworks may have reached cooperation with them.” Of course, the ability to obtain US $125 million round C financing is inseparable from its control over product quality and its potential in scale.

Hermes launched the plain version of Victoria classic handbag in early 2021, using mycoworks technologyBrand information shows that Reishi ™ It is a leather substitute without plastic and animal ingredients. It is rapidly cultivated from mycelium (mushroom cells) and agricultural by-products. After 12 years of research and development, this mycelium has been able to customize leather substitute materials with different thickness, weight and texture for the brand. The cultivation process is highly controllable and can produce products with unified specifications on a large scale. Its platform also provides traceability for the brand supply chain, further reduces waste and greatly improves sustainability. It can be said to be a biomaterial with great potential.

Gucci’s innovative animal free luxury material demetra is applied to sports shoesAccording to the incomplete statistics of Yuanqi capital, at present, there are six large-scale main participants in the pure leather track all over the world, and some fashion brands have also begun to enter the market to develop leather substitutes. For example, gucci used its self-developed pure leather demetra in three sports shoes such as Gucci new ace released in June 2021. Maybe it won’t be long before these pieces made of leather from mushrooms will become the most popular fashion products around us.

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