New York-based mycelium producer Ecovative is teaming up with Vivobarefoot and Pangaia.
The companies will join the Fashion for Good cooperative, working directly with Ecovative to co-develop custom mycelium materials to tap for their fashion and footwear lines.
Mycelium is on the move, with countless firms scaling up leather alternatives.
Galahad Clark, chief executive officer and founder at Vivobarefoot called the grown mushroom root process “one of the most versatile and high-performing bio-materials on the planet” with great replacement potential for harmful petroleum-based polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) inputs that have no decomposition outlook.
“As a natural health business, from our founding, Vivobarefoot has been committed to using sustainably sourced, natural, bio-based and recycled materials. We are very excited to partner with Ecovative to create the next generation of high-performing, regenerative footwear that will bring us closer to nature and our natural human potential,” he said.
Though Ecovative counts more than a decade in development, it saw new strides last year. In March 2021, the company announced $60 million in funding, bringing total funding to $100 million. At its 35,000-square-foot Mycelium Foundry, Ecovative also demonstrated the use case and performance properties of its Forager Hides, the company’s innovative solution to next-gen materials made via its trademarked AirMycelium process.
Like its Forager Hides, Ecovative’s Forager foams claim to be 100 percent pure mycelium (grown from agricultural byproducts) and free of chemicals and plastics. Forager products are home-compostable. To grow full-size hides in sheets up to 24 meters in length and 1.8 meters wide takes only nine days.
Through the AirMycelium manufacturing platform, Ecovative fine-tunes characteristics like porosity and resilience. Present production capacity is 100,000 pounds per year with the firm’s recent capital and new brand resources helping to scale production tenfold. In a past interview, Ecovative’s cofounder and chief executive officer Eben Bayer, said the company aims to “ultimately build farms next to tanning/finishing/manufacturing facilities around the world” to aid its global vision.
Alongside Vivobarefoot and Pangaia, Ecovative counts Bestseller and PVH Corp. in its Fashion for Good Cooperative. The brands will focus on material development, with products likely.