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Fashion Hermès Makes A Big Statement Unveiling Mushroom-Based 'Leather' Bags

Hermès Makes A Big Statement Unveiling Mushroom-Based 'Leather' Bags

Hermès Makes A Big Statement Unveiling Mushroom-Based 'Leather' Bags
Photo: Courtesy of Hermès
By Chananya De Ruiter
March 16, 2021
The French fashion house is breaking away from its leather canvas traditions and testing lab-grown substitutes

Hermès is officially breaking traditions and moving forward into the future of fashion with the release of a mushroom-based alternative leather for their iconic luxury bags. The French maison has partnered with MycoWorks, a California-based start-up funded by various investment companies and celebrities like John Legend, to develop a non-leather alternative that resembles elements of Hermès’ calfskin and the brand’s amber-hued Sylvania material. MycoWorks has patented a technology that uses mycelium—that thready structure within mushrooms—to imitates the properties of leather. The Victoria travel bag is one of the first products Hermes is trialing the new leather on. 

Photo: Courtesy of Hermès
Photo: Courtesy of Hermès

With this partnership, Hermès makes a statement about its awareness of how today’s customers are more conscious about what the brand represents. Fashion brands like Gucci, Burberry and Stella McCartney, too, are constantly finding new ways to incorporate high-quality, non-animal materials into their legacies. As long as the quality of the brand’s products maintain their consistency, there's no real reason for eco-conscious shoppers to opt for the more sustainable and ethical option. 

Promising to focus on excellence and longevity in their products, Hermès and MycoWorks partnership will continue to expand. The maison has expressed its interest in shunning more animal-based materials, including fur and crocodile skin from its production. With the mushroom leather offering as a first step, Hermès hopes to address the growing consumer concern of sustainability.

The Victoria travel bag will be available in stores by the end of 2021, as an add-on to the collections but not a replacement—still a large step towards change.

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