Bolt Threads, a new biotech materials startup, has created a leather-like material it calls Mylo that could revolutionize the fake leather market — and it’s ready to go mainstream.
Bolt Threads says it’s ready to produce the material on a commercial scale and have formed a consortium of iconic companies: adidas, Kering, lululemon, and Stella McCartney. They are currently producing as much as a million square feet a year.
Mylo is a sustainable alternative to leather that will become available to the world through the consortium partners.
Made from infinitely renewable mycelium, a fungus-like bacterial colony that can grow quickly into a massive web of strands. It’s so prolific that if all currently operating mushroom farms were to work on Mylo, it could replace all of the leather on the planet.
The advantages are plentiful: for one, the mycelium doesn’t rot like real leather and doesn’t have to be preserved plus it takes less than two weeks to grow as compared to cow which takes one to two years to grow.
While Mylo has yet to release exact figures on how much CO2 emissions are saved over the production of real leather, the process is significantly less carbon intensive as well, due to the simple fact that cows don’t have to be raised.
Advanced faux leather products could help alleviate the burden of raising animals, a heavily polluting — and to many ethically questionable — process. It also doesn’t rely on plastic pollutants like many other varieties of fake leather.
Mylo won’t be replacing conventional leather overnight.
Reference- Bolt Threads website & PR, Futurism, National Geographic, Science Alert