Lululemon Athletica has some new threads. And they’re made from mushrooms.
The Canadian athletic apparel and accessories retailer unveiled its latest project today: yoga mats and bags made from Mylo, a material that is said to look and feel like leather, but is actually made from a renewable fungus that is the root structure of mushrooms.
“As a premium athletic brand, having innovative and proprietary fabrics and other materials that help guests feel their best to perform their best is something we’re proud of,” said Sun Choe, chief product officer at Lululemon. “Sustainable innovation will continue to play a key role in the future of retail and product; and for us, leveraging a material like Mylo demonstrates our commitment to creating a healthier environment through lower-impact products, while also giving us the ability to reimagine iconic pieces in our line through a sustainability lens.”
Lululemon revealed plans to make products with Mylo in October when it joined the Mylo Consortium. Bolt Threads, the biotechnology company credited with creating Mylo, formed the Mylo Consortium, or a group of retailers that wanted to use the material to create more eco-friendly products. Aside from Lululemon, the Consortium also consists of Adidas, Kering and Stella McCartney.
“The Mylo consortium demonstrates how leading global brands can collaborate across industries to be part of a lasting solution to restore a healthy environment,” Choé said at the time. “We firmly believe that innovation and sustainability are key to the future of retail.”
Lululemon’s three new items include a woven yoga mat made entirely from Mylo and two bags, a yoga bag and a duffel bag, also made with some Mylo material. Products will be available for purchase in early 2022.
Lululemon’s entry into the Consortium is part of the retailer’s greater sustainability efforts. Last October the company released its first Impact Agenda, outlining multiyear social and environmental efforts, along with strategies on how to create a healthier future. Among the goals were plans to make 100 percent of Lululemon’s products with sustainable materials and “end-of-use solutions” by 2030, in addition to investing $75 million U.S. in the next five years — through funding, partnerships and advocacy — to advance equity in well-being in Lululemon’s communities around the world.
Other sustainability efforts include the company’s resale program Like New, which launched in April. The retailer said 100 percent of profits from the program will be reinvested into the company’s sustainability initiatives to create additional circular product designs, renewal and recycling programs and store environmental initiatives.
“Lululemon is actively working to help create a healthier future,” Calvin McDonald, chief executive officer of Lululemon, said at the time.