Adidas shoes made from mushrooms

Adidas shoes made from mushrooms

Vanessa Kim
Zurich, on 16.04.2021
Translation: Octavia Hurst
For its classic Stan Smith shoe, sports label Adidas has recently turned to Mylo. A plant-based leather alternative grown in the laboratory.

Climate change is leading to some rethinking in the fashion industry. To reduce CO₂ emissions, the textile industry is not only relying on alternative production methods, but also on sustainable, lab-grown materials.

Sporting goods manufacturer Adidas has been committed to sustainability for more than 20 years, so it’s no surprise that it took notice of the plant-based leather. Behind the innovation is American start-up Bolt Threads, which launched «Mylo» in 2018. The pure organic leather is as good as animal skin. Adidas also recognised the potential and immediately cooperated with the biotech company. The first joint project is the «Stan Smith Mylo».

Image: Stan Smith Mylo
Image: Stan Smith Mylo

For the sustainable reinterpretation of this classic sneaker, mycelium cells – the root structure of fungi – are extracted in the laboratory and cultivated over two weeks. Once the Mylo has grown into a leather-like material, it’s used to make the outer of the shoe. Natural rubber is used for the midsole. Although the plant-based leather can be dyed any colour, Adidas relies on classic white for its first myzel sneaker, typical for the Stan Smith.

Within the next twelve months, the Stan Smith Mylo is scheduled to go on sale. The model is expected to be about the same price as the previous leather ones. By going for a similar pricing, Adidas wants to prevent consumers who focus on sustainability from being put at a price disadvantage.

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Vanessa Kim
Vanessa Kim
Editor, Zurich
When I’m not exploring the depths of the sea as an open water diver, I enjoy plunging into the world of fashion. On the streets of Paris, Milan and New York is where I keep my eyes peeled for the latest trends. And I’ll show you how to take them from the catwalk to your everyday life.

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