Hermès Sylvania mushroom leather bag

Green Glamour: Hermès’ Sylvania and the Rise of Mushroom Leather Luxury


In partnership with California-based start-up MycoWorks, Hermès has cultivated a novel vegan leather alternative using mushrooms. This innovation named Sylvania offers an eco-friendly yet durable material to complement the brand’s traditional craftsmanship.

While Hermès has not been as vocal as some rivals about sustainability efforts, the brand’s  timeless products already appeal to conscious consumers. With the introduction of mushroom leather, Hermès Sylvania takes a significant step toward directly addressing the growing demand for sustainable luxury.

The Birth of Hermès Sylvania

Sylvania was derived from MycoWorks’s patented Fine Mycelium technology after three years of development. The process involved growing the intricate network of filaments found in fungi known as mycelium to mimic the structure and strength of conventional leather, making a material with an equivalent durability to cowhide.

“It’s more than a new material – it’s a manufacturing breakthrough that gives designers new levels of customization and creative control,” says MycoWorks co-founder Sophia Wang told The Guardian. “Our materials are essentially made to order and there’s complete transparency into what is being made and how. We control each sheet’s size, strength, flexibility, thickness. This customization creates a range of design possibilities, minimizes waste and ensures consistent quality.”

Crafting with Sustainability in Mind

Hermès Sylvania is produced in MycoWorks’s California facility and later transported to Hermès’s ateliers in France, where skilled artisans tan and finish the mushroom-based leather before fashioning it into accessories. The inaugural product showcasing Sylvania is a revamped version of the classic Victoria travel bag.

While the Victoria bag is the first to feature Hermès Sylvania, the move underscores a broader shift within the luxury fashion industry. Major players like the Prada Group have already abandoned fur, and leather could be the next material to undergo transformation. Consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability, prompting renowned brands to explore eco-friendly alternatives to traditional materials. Mycelium-based materials like Sylvania offer a sustainable alternative to traditional leather, which typically requires vast resources and involves hazardous chemicals.

Companies like Stella McCartney and Gucci owner, Kering, is also investing in mushroom-based alternatives through a partnership with Bolt Threads, another maker of mushroom-based leather. These innovations present a compelling solution for conscious consumers seeking sustainable and durable fashion choices.

It’s still yet unknown whether Hermès will incorporate Sylvania into other iconic products, such as the Birkin, but time – and consumer demand – will tell.

A Paradigm Shift in Luxury

Hermès’s collaboration with MycoWorks and the introduction of Hermès Sylvania mark a significant shift in the luxury fashion landscape. As the industry embraces sustainable alternatives, Hermès’s new show of innovation preserves its legacy for excellence and craftsmanship. The future of luxury fashion will be stylishly sustainable with mushroom leather leading the way to a more environmentally conscious industry.


  1. Hermès Forges Eco-Friendly Partnership: Collaborating with MycoWorks, Hermès pioneers Sylvania, a sustainable vegan leather alternative made from mushrooms, reflecting the brand’s dedication to eco-conscious luxury.
  2. Mushroom Magic: Hermès Sylvania emerges from three years of development using Fine Mycelium technology, boasting durability equivalent to cowhide while allowing high levels of customization.
  3. Transparency and Quality Control: MycoWorks’s manufacturing process offers complete transparency and customization, minimizing waste and ensuring consistent quality, setting a new standard for sustainable materials.
  4. Artisans Transform Mushroom Leather: Hermès artisans in France skillfully tan and fashion Hermès Sylvania into accessories, with the Victoria travel bag as the debut product to feature this innovative material.
  5. Luxury Fashion’s Sustainable Evolution: Hermès’s collaboration with MycoWorks aligns with a broader shift towards sustainability in the luxury fashion industry, meeting growing consumer demand for eco-friendly alternatives.
  6. Mushroom Leather Revolution: The introduction of Hermès Sylvania marks a paradigm shift in luxury fashion, combining innovation with tradition to create stylishly sustainable products that cater to conscious consumers.

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