Riding in Style: An MEC x MUTE Collaboration

Shanghai’s urban jungle now has E-Bikers riding in seamless style.

Materials Experience Center (MEC) solely focuses on creating tomorrow’s textiles; not only for the industry but also for end consumers with valuable and innovative fabrications. As many know, the city of Shanghai is highly populated, dense with buildings and cars, as well as widely dispersed with many sightseeing places to visit. One of the many popular ways to get around this bustling urban jungle is through electric bikes or scooters. MUTE Garage Shanghai — a local startup — has paved the way for e-bike subscription for all.

MUTE is a subscription program offering green, theft-proof Electric Vehicles (EVs), that include: registration, insurance, and free maintenance. MUTE’s global mission is to fight climate change by replacing gasoline powered mopeds worldwide with green, environment-friendly EVs.

As a global operation, MUTE has operations in the UK, Indonesia, Australia, and China.

Just recently, they won the Most Sustainable Brand of 2021 at That’s Shanghai Lifestyle Awards by People’s Choice. As a transport solution that has been around for the past 5 years in China and in other countries, MUTE aims to provide riders with convenience and reliable service despite circumstances. This mission also shoots for durable comfort and sturdy protection whilst riding a scooter. What better way to evolve this solution than by collaborating with MEC? Here’s how it came about.

In Shanghai, the weather is quite extreme with very marked seasons. When it rains it pours and when the sun’s out, the heat can reach very high temperatures. With these natural factors at play, a scooter’s seat for example, can be damaged quicker than the average — affecting its durability, comfort and look for the potential next tenant. MUTE wondered how this could be prevented as these e-bikes live a long life . Seat covers that were water repellent, temperature regulating and snag-proof would be ideal.

Since MEC specializes in new material fabrication that is designed to perform in accordance to its purpose, it was a perfect opportunity to collaborate with MUTE Garage Shanghai. The goal was to come up with a removable upholstery seat sleeve that could be applied and perform with all the features needed so the original seats would be protected.

Scooter seats tend to have a leather wrapping that can overheat if they’re overexposed to the sun when parked. When it rains the leather can wrinkle and appear overused, plus, it doesn’t wick water off like other materials —  riders would have towels or plastic bags to wipe off the seat or cover it. Consequently, to avoid these issues, the team at MEC brainstormed which yarns and their performance properties could improve this experience. Furthermore, how the structure of this seat sleeve would feel and look in relation to the MUTE and MEC vibe — cool with an urban twist.

The design of this seat sleeve is very reminiscent of MEC’s VI aesthetic, its graphics and colors are futuristic and texturized — giving the sleeve an energetic look that aligns with the urban feel of Shanghai. One can see the subtle use of the letter ‘E’ and ‘B’, from ‘E-Bike’, to showcase the seamless and endless cycles of the tubular design. A dual representation of the innovative creators and modern collaborators.

For yarn selection, seamless upholstery textile fabrication needs to ensure performance features that allow the material to do its intended function, last a long time, and avoid undesired issues. This scooter sleeve was created with a blend of Hywell Fibres and synthetic multifilaments that are hydrophilic. They are tightly knit to withstand tearing, snagging, heat deterioration and water. Techniques such as transfer, tubular and jacquard, were used to create this sleeve. Through the transfer and jacquard technique, the mesh-like material is not easy to deform because of its stitch by stitch make, it remains breathable and dry while keeping its multi-patterned design untouched. With the tubular technique, this soft and lightweight 2-layered one piece can be reversible. All in all, a scooter seat sleeve that is durable, repels water, breathes, and looks cool.

For now, a select number of riders are enjoying the MEC x MUTE Garage collaboration, and they love it. With the temperature changing and nature following its calendar, this scooter seat sleeve has provided solutions with its carefully selected performance properties. A reversible cover that you can remove for safe washing, that looks fashion-forward, and remains cool or wet-free? Sign all the Shanghai riders up!