Leading eco brand, Seed & Sprout has collaborated with Swinburne University of Technology to open a pop-up store featuring structures made solely from fungi.

Mycelium, the non-fruiting body of a mushroom, is gaining popularity as an eco-friendly material as it is infinitely renewable and can be regrown and recycled.

Seed & Sprout and Swinburne have created pieces grown from mycelium to display the brand’s products in a pop-up store located in Byron Bay retail hub, Habitat. Everything from seating and lighting to shelving and in-store displays are made from the fungi material.

The aim of the project was to deliver something beyond a typical retail space, according to Seed & Sprout CEO, Sally Tullet.

“We’re acutely aware that there are enough retail stores that offer endless amounts of products that aren’t always needed. We wanted to create something different – somewhere people can feel inspired, think outside the box, share ideas, and ultimately, leave feeling like there is hope for a better future,” she said.

“The concept of this pop-up supports our philosophy of reusing, recycling and repurposing where possible, and reinforces our desire to promote a culture of radical thinking, as ultimately, that is what will spark the change that is so needed in the world right now.”

The interest in using mycelium for the pop-up was driven by Seed & Sprout head of product, Laura Perry. After learning more about the material, she began searching for Australians experimenting with it, which led her to Swinburne’s lecturer of architectural design, Canhui Chen and the Mushi project he worked on together with Swinburne, studio edwards and Arup.

Made of mycelium and organic matter, Mushi is a world-first organic solution to creating clean and healthy waterways.

Perry said working with Swinburne has allowed the brand to push boundaries and create new solutions for customers.

“Creating solutions to the plastic and waste problem is always our focus. For us to thrive, it is crucial to be continuously learning and innovating, fostering partnerships and cultivating design thinking – this is the lifeblood of true innovation.”

Commenting on the collaboration, Chen said that the Made + Mycelium project has been a challenging and rewarding experience.

“We assembled a team of students from different disciplines including architecture, product design engineering, architectural engineering and product design. I am incredibly proud of how resilient and creative they’ve been throughout the process,” he said.

The Seed & Sprout pop-up store stocks a range of the brand’s eco-products including reusable bags, bars, pantry jars, lunchboxes and more. The pop-up store is located at Suite 11, Building B, 5 Easy Street, Habitat in Byron Bay, NSW until February 2022.