Reformation and Wolverine Worldwide join Ecovative to develop next-generation mycelium materials for fashion and apparel
GREEN ISLAND, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ecovative, the mycelium technology company, today announced the final new member of its Fashion for Good Cooperative — sustainable fashion company Reformation — as well as a direct partnership with leading footwear company Wolverine Worldwide, to collaborate in the testing, development, and commercialization of custom mycelium materials for use in their products.
Reformation and Wolverine join a roster of world class brands entering into collaboration with Ecovative in the Fashion for Good initiated project, including Fashion for Good partners BESTSELLER, PANGAIA, PVH Corp. and Vivobarefoot. They will draw from Ecovative’s expertise in cutting-edge mycelium materials, in particular its specialized Forager division focused on soft goods for fashion and apparel, providing feedback that will guide the testing and development to replace incumbent materials in products that traditionally use animal leather or plastic. Ecovative has already developed two products for the fashion and footwear industries: Forager™ Hides, a premium leather-like material, and Forager™ Foams, for breathable insulation and structural support components, each made with pure mycelium. All of Ecovative’s products are completely bio-based, free of plastics and toxic chemicals, grown on agricultural byproducts such as woodchips and seed hulls, and fully compostable at the end of a product’s life. Full-size mycelium sheets are grown in sheets up to 24 meters in length and 1.8 meters wide over the course of just 9 days. These mycelium materials represent viable, sustainable, scalable alternatives to the fashion and apparel industries’ unsustainable status quo.
“We’re beyond excited to join Ecovative’s cooperative to support the development of an entirely plastics-free leather alternative for scalable industry use,” says Kathleen Talbot, Reformation’s Chief Sustainability Officer & VP of Operations. “Since relaunching our Ref Shoes category in 2021, we’ve invested deeply in the nex-gen space to find a vegan solution that meets our high product and sustainability standards, without the plastic. Helping test and bring Ecovative’s Forager Hide to market is a critical evolution of this work, and one that we hope will drive forward a holistic sustainability agenda for fashion. We’re energized to unlock a solution that can not only be used in future Reformation collections but be made available to the entire industry.”
As the urgency of the climate crisis sinks in, consumers and brands alike are eager to replace the leather in wearables, the supportive foams used in shoes and jackets, and the plastic found throughout the industry’s products, with sustainable alternatives that don’t come at a cost to quality or durability. Industrial animal agriculture — of which leather is a co-product — requires more arable land than any industry on Earth, consuming immense amounts of water, and using caustic chemicals. Plastics also represent a global crisis, and the apparel space has an especially high footprint of plastic, which is involved in almost every product for structural support and durable finishes, making many of them impossible to recycle or reclaim. Ecovative’s mycelium technologies make it possible to replace these unsustainable materials with fully compostable alternatives that come from and return to nature.
“The need for more sustainable materials is clear, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring them to market in partnership with Wolverine and Reformation,” says Gavin McIntyre, Ecovative’s Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer. “Both companies represent an immense amount of market knowledge, a diverse family of products, and expertise in complex supply chains that will be crucial to applying our mycelium materials for maximum impact. Together we are taking a big step towards transforming these industries for the better.”
Discussing these partnerships and the future of mycelium materials, Gavin McIntyre will be giving the keynote speech at the Material Innovation Initiative Conference on May 19th, joined by Wolverine Worldwide’s Vice President of Innovation, Barry McGeough. On the same day, Ecovative’s Chief Marketing Officer Andy Bass will join a panel with Alison Melville, Reformation’s VP of Product Innovation, called Partnership Strategy Opportunities: How can material companies and brands work together?
Ecovative is a materials science company unlocking the natural potential of mycelium with modern technology. Founded in 2007, Ecovative’s mission is to create next generation materials through mycelium biofabrication and to make mycelium materials accessible to everyone. Leveraging its Mycelium Foundry, Ecovative works with partners throughout the textiles, food and packaging industries to grow better materials for everyday needs. To learn more, visit http://www.ecovative.com.
Based in New York, Forager develops and tailors advanced mycelium materials for apparel, foams, and insulation. The Ecovative subsidiary leverages the deep expertise of Ecovative’s Mycelium Foundry to grow sustainable materials tuned for performance. Products include vegan hides that are plastic-free, and foams made from mushrooms not petroleum. Through partnerships with leading brands and product developers, Forager is accelerating circularity in fashion, footwear, and automotive industries with the next generation of mycelium materials to meet the fast-growing consumer demand for products that benefit people and planet Earth. Learn more at forager.bio
About Wolverine Worldwide:
Founded in 1883 on the belief in the possibility of opportunity, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is one of the world’s leading marketers and licensors of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children’s and uniform footwear and apparel. Through a diverse portfolio of highly recognized brands, our products are designed to empower, engage and inspire our consumers every step of the way. The company’s portfolio includes Merrell®, Saucony®, Sweaty Betty®, Sperry®, Hush Puppies®, Wolverine®, Keds®, Chaco®, Bates®, HYTEST®, and Stride Rite®. Wolverine Worldwide is also the global footwear licensee of the popular brands Cat® and Harley-Davidson®. Based in Rockford, Michigan, for more than 130 years, the company’s products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in approximately 170 countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our website, www.wolverineworldwide.com or visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Founded in 2009, Reformation is a revolutionary lifestyle brand that proves fashion and sustainability can coexist. Reformation combines stylish, vintage-inspired designs with sustainable practices, releasing limited-edition collections for individuals who want to look beautiful and live sustainably. Reformation infuses green measures into every aspect of the business. Setting an example for the industry, Reformation remains at the forefront of innovation in sustainable fashion—running the first sustainable factory in Los Angeles, using deadstock and eco fabrics, tracking and sharing the environmental impact of every product, and investing in the people who make this revolution possible. Reformation is Climate Neutral certified and its products have been carbon neutral since 2015, with a commitment to become Climate Positive by 2025. The brand has also established itself as a pioneer in retail innovation, developing an in-store tech concept that brings the best of its online experience to its physical doors. Reformation’s mission is to bring sustainable fashion to everyone.
Director of Marketing, Ecovative