US based biotech company Bolt Threads has introduced its second material to the world, Mylo – a commercially available leather grown from mycelium, the root structure of a mushroom. The company’s first novel material was bio-fabricated spider silk,Microsilk, which has been used by apparel and lifestyle brands like Best Made Co., for its limited-edition beanies.
For this launch, Bolt Threads partnered with biomaterials company Ecovative to license the initial mycelium technology, and then perfect the process for commercial viability. Mylo looks and feels like hand-crafted leather, and because Bolt Threads can control the environment and process through which Mylo is grown, the company says it is able to manipulate the leather’s properties, such as durability, strength, and suppleness, making each product truly one-of-a-kind.
Bolt Threads will bring Mylo to consumers by releasing its own bag for pre-order this June. Stella McCartney, a long-term partner to Bolt Threads, will also debut the Mylo Falabella Prototype 1 at the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Fashioned from Nature exhibit, open to the public on 21 April in London.
As part of Stella McCartney’s commitment to sustainability and the conservation of our oceans, the designer’s Autumn 2017 collection of Falabella GO bags was made with Aquafil’s 100% regeneratedEconyl yarn, made of converted ocean waste. The brand is also closely collaborating with Bolt Threads to push the boundaries in innovation for sustainable and cruelty-free fashion textiles.
Bolt Threads has been studying silk proteins found in nature to inspire the development of lab-engineered synthetic spider silk. A silk protein substance is produced by fermenting yeast, sugar and water and is spun into protein-based yarn that can be knitted or woven into textiles and garments. The company engineers the material to provide stretch, strength, softness, comfort and water-resistance.
Based in Emeryville, CA, the company announced a sustainable materials development partnership with Patagonia in 2016 and acquired NYC-based lifestyle and apparel brand Best Made Co. in 2017.