Fashion, New Products, Sustainability

Future of footwear: adidas Mylo mushroom sneakers

A sustainable future awaits.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Apr 27, 2021

Mushrooms have had a millennia-long impact on human society, so it’s not accurate to say that they’re “having a moment” right now. Yet, they seem to be resurfacing: from microdosing to fashion, mushroom use is definitely on the rise. If you haven’t heard of Mylo yet, you will soon start hearing about it everywhere.


What is Mylo?

Mylo is a substance that looks and sounds like leather. It’s made from the fungi’s underground root structure. This type of mushroom is helping speed up the transition to more sustainable fashion. It’s taking over the world of sneakers. adidas is set to release a new edition of the classic Stan Smith with a twist: the upper will be made of Mycelliumis (aka Mylo). It’s an adaptable material that can take on any color, finish, or emboss. Leather is the perfect comparison for it because it’s close in durability and feel. Which is why the Stan Smith – one of adidas’ most famous leather sports shoes – is a perfect sneaker for trying this out.



What makes Mylo different?

Of course, there are already a slew of synthetic leathers on the market, so what sets this one apart? Mylo has a distinct advantage – it’s made of natural materials and grows in two weeks thanks to an efficient growth process. Although the process does take up a lot of space, it doesn’t need any light and can be done almost anywhere. All this means that the shoes can be made without the use of plastic, which is a significant move forward in adidas’ long-term commitment to reducing plastic waste. We all know that plastic is awash in the world’s seas, causing considerable harm to all types of marine life, and the situation is only getting worse. Mylo is a step in the right direction for industries of all kinds to figure out how to make plastic-free goods.


The future with Mylo

The Stan Smith Mylo may be the first shoe to use Mylo in part of the upper, but it isn’t expected to be the last. This is part of the company’s larger effort to use recycled or sustainable products. This process is already underway: adidas recycled 50% of its polyester this year, and virgin polyester will be eliminated by 2024. In the long run, the brand aspires to achieve global climate neutrality by 2050. It is critical to move production toward natural materials to achieve such a target. Mylo, a substance that can regrow, be refabricated, and restored to nature, could play a major role in this.


You can learn more about the creation of the adidas Stan Smith Mylo on the adidas blog.



Photos via adidas