We love Jessica for showing us how our material can revolutionise millinery
Jessica Evans is a Surrey-based fashion biodesigner with a passion for sustainability and mycelium. Her interest in sustainable design was triggered by climate change. Biodesign is a critical emerging field expanding sustainable practices such as circular design to include biomimicry and bioremediation – biofabricated textiles feature throughout Jessica’s work. However, ID Genève wished to go further and redefine watchmaking packaging in 2021, which has a pivotal role in the luxury experience. The challenge was to find the best option between functionality, experience and impact without damaging the environment.
The structural nature of mycelium led Jessica to look to millinery as hats can be stiff, shaped, and architectural in their design.
She made small prototypes at home but needed larger infrastructure to make the engineering translation from 2D to 3D on the design for a fascinator, so she reached out to Magical Mushroom Company® in nearby Esher.
MMC’s Mycelium Product Designer Ryan Little turned Jessica’s 2D CAD hat designs into sculptural form using 3D print technology.
The size of the hat presented challenges for production. But no mission was too big for Ryan and the production team, which used special equipment to modify the therma-forming stage of the process.
As with all MMC projects, the highest quality substrate, made from hemp and mycelium, was used to make the Mushroom® Packaging for Jessica’s fascinator.
Mycelium broke down upcycled crop fibres to be shaped into flexible and strong Mushroom® Packaging for Jessica’s hat – a planet-friendly alternative to fossil fuel-produced plastics. Mushroom® Packaging is fully biodegradable and breaks down in soil after just 40 days with the bonus of mycoremediation: so Mushroom® Packaging has the ability to remove chemicals from soil meeting one of Jessica’s goals – bioremediation.
The mycelium was grown in just days to create a unique hat – Magical Mushroom Company® is the first company in the UK to create a hat using Mushroom® Packaging technology.
The collaboration shows new scope and potential for mycelium - the quick efficient growth of this future material is a step towards a more organic material revolution and positive sustainability.
Jessica continues her journey as a fashion changemaker – her project with Magical Mushroom Company® helps further the field of biofabrication become part of mainstream fashion.
"We demonstrated that mycelium is solidifying its place as a future material within fashion"
‘As a fashion student I had created small prototypes from mycelium but was never able to fully scale a product. With support from Magical Mushroom Company®, the company enabled my ideas to come to life. We demonstrated that mycelium is solidifying its place as a future material within fashion.'
Biodesigner, Jessica Evans