The new division specializes in fungi-based foams and hides for the fashion and automotive markets
GREEN ISLAND, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ecovative, leaders in the fast–growing mycelium materials space, today launched Forager, a division focused on designing, marketing, and manufacturing vegan, plastic-free leather-like materials and foams for the fashion and automotive industries.
Rather than animals or petroleum, Forager™ Hides and Forager™ Foams are made from mycelium, the filamentous ‘root structure’ of fungi. Grown on agricultural byproducts (like corn husks), these pure mycelium materials are fully biodegradable and home-compostable, without any plastic or fiber additives. Forager will utilize Ecovative’s AirMycelium™ technology to produce large sheets of pure mycelium material at commercial scale, with the ability to fine-tune density, shape, tensile strength, texture, and other qualities that meet or exceed standards in a range of fashion applications. Ecovative will also provide access to its Mycelium Foundry, which tests new strains and growing conditions to quickly develop novel materials with distinct qualities.
Forager is also launching in established partnerships with leading brands, as part of the Fashion For Good Cooperative announced at the end of 2021. Each partner will be supplied with mycelium hides and foams as alternatives to their leather or plastic equivalents, receiving real-time feedback and support from the Foundry as hides and foams are developed into market-ready products. With further partnerships to be announced, and with the infrastructure in place to produce new materials at scale, Forager is uniquely positioned to innovate and compete in this space.
Ecovative co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer Gavin McIntyre will introduce the new division as the headline speaker for the Materials Innovation Initiative Conference on May 18th – 19th, 2022.
“Forager is launching at a moment when consumers and brands alike are eager for the next step in sustainable materials.” Says Nicole Rawling, Co-Founder and CEO of the Materials Innovation Initiative. “More and more people recognize that the future of what we make and use is regenerative and based in biology, but it’s going to take a diverse team of collaborators to make that vision a reality. Based on the track record of the people involved, we’re excited to see the contributions that Forager will make.”
Forager has emerged in response to growing consumer demand for products that meet high standards of quality, reliability, and environmental responsibility. Consumers are also pushing brands to demonstrate transparency, and processes that aren’t just sustainable but regenerative, all of which applies to Forager’s mycelium materials.
Forager builds on Ecovative’s pioneering successes in scaling up mycelium manufacturing, necessary for commercial viability. Ecovative will be completing the world’s largest aerial mycelium farm this summer, directly adjacent to their offices in Upstate New York. In addition, they have shown the same AirMycelium™ technology, tested earlier this year by a large, well established mushroom farm, can be deployed in existing infrastructure with minimal modifications. The launch of Forager represents a major step in mainstreaming and realizing mycelium’s transformative potential.
“Our goal has always been to make the things humans want and need in partnership with Mother Nature,” says Eben Bayer, co-founder and CEO of Ecovative. “We couldn’t be more excited to have Forager adding to this crucial project. With the companies’ mastery of mycelium technology, and the insights of some of the world’s best designers, engineers, artists and market experts, we’re confident that they will prove what everyone already knows: the future of mycelium materials is bright.”
Forager invites inquiries from brands interested in learning more about pure mycelium materials and partnering to advance next generation biomaterials that will meet the needs of people and planet all at once.
About Ecovative //
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 ecovative.com
About Forager //
Based in New York, Forager develops and tailors advanced mycelium materials for apparel, foams, and insulation. This division in Ecovative 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. Visit forager.bio for more information.
About Materials Innovation Initiative //
The Material Innovation Initiative is a nonprofit accelerating the development of high-performance, eco-friendly, and animal-free materials for the fashion, automotive, and home goods industries. MII serves as a critical connector along the path to market adoption for new materials, partnering with scientists, startups, brands, and retailers to direct the industry toward areas of maximum impact. Learn more at materialinnovation.org and see our previous news releases here.
Lacey Davidson — Director of Marketing, Ecovative