World Footwear


Ecco Leather teams up with mycelium technology company Ecovative

Nov 24, 2022 Denmark
Ecco Leather teams up with mycelium technology company Ecovative
The global tannery, which is part of the Danish footwear brand Ecco, has partnered up with Ecovative to develop and commercialize mycelium materials for a range of new products
This partnership intends to leverage both companies' strengths. On the one hand, Ecovative's know-how in the development of sustainable materials with mycelium (the fibrous root structure of mushrooms) – is capable of producing 100% pure mycelium hides to specification. On the other hand, Ecco Leather's expertise in the development and production of leather for a range of consumer products through innovative tannery processes that require less time, chemicals, and water than traditional textile finishing methods.

"Mycelium represents a brand-new canvas on which we can create with both traditional and novel material processes. It removes the complexities of the raw hide supply chain, while its fast and efficient growth allows us to bring a new material category to market, one that gives consumers an environmentally conscious choice over petrochemical-derived materials", explained Bart Hofman-Kronborg, Group Manufacturing Director of Ecco Leather. "Historically, tanneries have exclusively been associated with animal hides; with mycelium, this millennia-old industry can evolve, diversify and expand into a wider material market", he added.

The establishment of this collaboration follows the work begun earlier this year, in which the companies started trading materials and methods to test materials against the high-performance standards for commercial leather products and tanning processes. Now, however, the collaboration is being expanded to bring new products to the market, "opening the door to collaboration on the full scope of material development and commercialization possibilities", which includes the research, testing and prototyping phases, as well as the following commercialization.

"The best and fastest way to advance new materials with biology is through partnerships just like this one with Ecco Leather. By combining our expertise and capacity to grow mycelium at scale, and Ecco Leather's extensive understanding of what's needed for the best leather products in the world, we will help bring the industry closer to true sustainability and circularity", commented Gavin McIntyre, Chief Commercial Officer of Ecovative.

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