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Innovation: Plant-based mycelium leather

Leather made from mushrooms

Whether it is shoes, clothing or accessories - leather is used in almost all areas of the fashion industry. US biotech company Bolt Threads has developed a plant-based alternative to leather made from mushrooms. The first fashion company to have designed clothes with this leather substitute is Stella McCartney.

March 2021

Mushrooms, mulch, air and water are all what is needed to produce the Bolt Threads leather alternative. Since 2009 the US biotech company has been working on creating natural leather that is free from animal products. Now, the first clothing items have been produced using the innovative material. Together with fashion company Stella McCartney, the start-up company from San Francisco has launched clothing and underwear made from the plant-based material. "Creating new, high-quality biomaterials is a major technological challenge and a massive opportunity for people and planet. The material used in these two garments represents a huge step forward in both aesthetics and performance of biomaterials,” says Dan Widmaier, CEO and founder of Bolt Threads.

The so-called "faux leather" is soft, robust and versatile, is called Mylo™ and is made entirely from natural raw materials. It is obtained from mycelium, or fungal cells. These normally grow beneath the forest soil and are produced by Bolt Threads in their laboratories with mulch, air and water. The structure and robustness of the biological material is similar to that of real leather, it is tear and water resistant and breathable. Another distinguishing feature is that Mylo™ can be produced in only a few days. Producing the material is still very expensive. There are plans to develop the faux leather further in the coming years to turn it into a common alternative to animal leather. Apart from Stella McCartney, fashion companies Adidas, Kering and Lululemon have also invested in the Californian start-up and its innovation.

Sustainable alternatives and modern approaches will also be the focus at Neonyt’s upcoming edition from 6th to 8th July in Frankfurt am Main, where the industry’s latest developments will be presented in terms of sustainability and innovation.

#Bolt Threads #Plant-based leather #Leather substitute #Stella McCartney #Leather #Mycelium #Kering #adidas #lululemon#Neonyt #Sustainability #Industry news #Innovation

Find more information here: Bolt Technology – Meet Mylo

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