Your next designer handbag purchase might be made from mushrooms

1 May 2018
By Fashion Quarterly


It’s guilt-free and vegan-friendly.

Ethical practices amongst fashion designers are evolving at a fast rate thanks to the growing fashion revolution, ethical fashion brand reports, and stances like the fur-free pledge and the #whomademyclothes mantra. When it comes to sustainable fashion, however, one label has always been at the forefront.

Not only has Stella McCartney’s namesake brand been real fur-free since launching in 2001, but the designer has always held her stance as a vegetarian brand. And it is this belief that has allowed her to lead the way with creative alternatives to animal-based fibres that in future may be adopted by a number of brands.

A case in point is the latest release of the brand’s iconic Falabella bag which has been made from the cells of a very common household vegetable. And before you start trying to imagine which plant-based product in your vege bin you could adapt into a bag… let us enlighten you further.

The “leather” in the Falabella is made up of Mycelium or Mylo (for short) fibres created by Californian textile company Bolt Threads and is sourced from the root structure of mushrooms. Once harvested, it is left to grow in a controlled environment and a careful mix of temperature, humidity and CO2 encourages the fibres to extend producing a “hide” which is then treated like natural leather and cut and tanned accordingly.

WATCH: Designer Stella McCartney talks about the creation of vegan silk

Loading the player...

And while you may question if mushroom cells are an justifiable replacement for your leather bag, note that not only is Myco incredibly strong and durable, it also looks and feels like real leather all while having a much lower impact on the environment.

But before you get too excited, it’s worth noting that the only existing Stella McCartney Falabella Mylo bag currently is on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. According to The Current Daily, however, Falabella fans won’t have to wait too long until the designer releases a line of Mylo bags in the brand’s iconic designs.

This isn’t the first time Stella McCartney has paired with Bolt Threads, with the two companies previously pioneering synthetic spider silk as a replacement for traditional silk fibres harvested from a silkworm.

Words: Ella Francis.
Photos: Getty Images.


Sign up & Join
FQ Insider

Unlock exclusive content, behind-the-scenes insights, and special offers by becoming an FQ Insider.

Fashion Quarterly Winter 2023 Cover
Fashion Quarterly Winter 2023 Cover

Sign up & Join
FQ Insider

Unlock exclusive content, behind-the-scenes insights, and special offers by becoming an FQ Insider.

Sign up to the Fashion Quarterly newsletter.

*Ts&Cs apply.
Find out more at