Bolt Projects and Portland-based brand Chester Wallace are making a great everyday bag designed with mushroom leather. The Mylo Driver Bag features a vegan leather alternative that is grown from mycelium — the root structure of mushrooms — which offers similar handfeel and appearance as traditional leathers while still being vegan. While a firm called Ecovative created the mycelium fabrication technology, Bolt Projects optimized the process to create consumer-grade Mylo leather. The unique material is produced in just under two weeks by combining mycelium cells with a substrate of corn stalks and nutrients — a vast difference from the time and resources that go into traditional animal leather.
The tote itself is a re-creation of Chester Wallace’s Driver silhouette and features a canvas base, two internal pockets and three external pockets. Cut and sewn in Portland, Oregon, the bag features brass zippers and a nylon shoulder strap. A limited run of 135 bags is currently offered on Kickstarter: the bag itself is available for $400, but you can have it embossed with your initials for $500. If you pledge $1,000 you will receive a bag with embossed initials, a Mylo pouch that fits in the tote and an in-person tour of the Bolt Threads facility. Though not an impulse buy, this bag represents an innovative step forward in materials development, furthering the possibility for more sustainable manufacturing in years to come.
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