Adidas announces new shoe made from mushroom leather

Adidas announces new shoe made from mushroom leather
  • Adidas announced a new Stan Smith sneaker made from a mushroom-based material.
  • The brand developed the material, called Mylo, in partnership with biotech company Bolt Threads.
  • The leather alternative is vegan and also avoids using plastic-based leather substitutes like PVC.

A new Stan Smith shoe from Adidas is now available in an unorthodox material - mushroom-based "leather." Adidas announced the release on their website and introduced "Mylo," a material made from mycelium, a substance found in the roots of mushrooms.

The sneaker brand is partnering with Bolt Threads, a biotechnology firm that develops plant-based materials, to make vegan alternatives for its traditionally leather-based shoes.

The Stan Smith Mylo shoes feature a natural rubber mid-sole, while the body of the sneaker is made from the mushroom leather. Adidas wrote in its press release that the mushrooms for the Mylo material are grown in vertical configurations and that the materials are ready to be harvested for leather in as little as two weeks. Adidas did not say in the press release how much the shoes will cost.
The Mylo sneaker is part of Adidas' broader sustainability goals, which include reducing plastic waste. Traditional leather alternatives like polyurethane (PU) and polyvinal chloride (PVC) are produced from plastic polymers and do not biodegrade, which is part of the reason Adidas and Bolt Threads looked for a naturally-derived alternative.

Earlier this year, Adidas released a version of the brand's classic Stan Smith shoes composed of 50% recycled materials, called Stan Smith PRIMEGREEN. And in 2017, the brand launched a sneaker called Parley, which was an update to its popular Ultraboost running shoe with parts of the shoe made from recycled ocean plastic, according to reporting from Insider.

Insider reported on the announcement of the mycelium-based fabric in December. And in 2019, Insider's Dennis Green reported on the broader trend of sustanability in the sneaker industry, with Adidas leading the charge on making shoes from recycled material and moving away from the environmentally-harmful materials often used in sneaker production.