Everyone knows that while the fashion industry is one of the world’s most glamorous, it is also one of the most polluting industries on the planet. Over the past few years, major players in the industry have taken steps to battle the issue and now, Mylo, a leather-like commercially viable material grown from mycelium which forms a part of fungal colonies that inhabit our ecosystem, has found favour with brands like Adidas, Lululemon, Kering, and Stella McCartney.
Bolt Threads, a venture-backed, idea-driven company specialises in developing this “un-leather” and is convinced that the material is a viable replacement for animal-sourced and synthetic skins.
Executives from Adidas, Lululemon, Kering, and Stella McCartney have agreed to partner with Bolt Threads on Mylo and have collectively invested in the company’s production operations in exchange for access to the material that could very well change the fashion landscape. In fact, Mylo-made products like Adidas sneakers and Stella McCartney accessories are set to go on sale in 2021.
Historically, the fashion industry and its competitive clients have tried to broker exclusive agreements but this partnership with Mylo is not only a break from the norm but also could prove to be beneficial to the entire industry as a whole.
Dan Widmaier, the chief executive and founder of Bolt Threads told the New York Times that no single company would be able to bring Mylo to scale considering the supply chain and experts – ranging from biology, product development, and sustainability – involved.
“We had to convince these industry competitors that this was about tackling a bigger challenge together than any of them could solve alone,” Mr. Widmaier told NYT, adding that each brand has committed “seven-figure sums” to the partnership.
“This kind of innovation is really expensive,” he said. “The truth is, this industry remains an environmental ticking time bomb and is full of outdated technologies.”
Made from mycelium — the complex latticework of underground fibers so strong they hold the planet together — Mylo is soft, supple, and less harmful to the environment, Bolt Threads believes.
Not only does Mylo consume significantly less water and land, but it also emits fewer greenhouse gases as compared to those released while raising livestock.