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Fashion focus for Forager with mycelium

Materials are fully biodegradable and home-compostable, without any plastic or fibre additives.

31st January 2022

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Green Island, NY, USA

Clothing/​Footwear, Transport/​Aerospace

Ecovative has launched Forager, a new division focused on designing, marketing and manufacturing vegan, plastic-free leather-like materials and foams for the fashion and automotive industries.

Forager hides and foams are made from mycelium, the filamentous ‘root structure’ of fungi. Grown on agricultural byproducts like corn husks, pure mycelium materials are fully biodegradable and home-compostable, without any plastic or fibre additives.

The new division will use 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.

Fashion for Good

Forager has 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 a headline speaker at the Materials Innovation Initiative Conference from May 18-19 2022.

“Forager is launching at a moment when consumers and brands alike are eager for the next step in sustainable materials,” said Nicole Rawling, co-founder and CEO of the Materials Innovation Initiative. “More and more people recognise that the future of what we make and use needs to be 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 builds on Ecovative’s successes in scaling up mycelium manufacturing for commercial viability. Ecovative will be completing the world’s largest aerial mycelium farm this summer, directly adjacent to its offices in Upstate New York. In addition, it has shown that the same AirMycelium technology, tested earlier this year by a large, well established mushroom farm, can be deployed in existing infrastructure with minimal modifications.

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