For billions of years, mycelium has grown beneath our feet and served as ecological connective tissue to all life on earth. A sprawling, infinitely renewable, interlaced web, it threads through soil, breaks down organic matter, and provides nutrients to plants and trees.
To make Mylo, the new alternative leather product from Bolt Threads, a process was engineered to grow mycelium in a vertical farming facility powered by 100% renewable energy and transform it into a material that looks and feels like animal leather. Soft, supple, and less harmful to the environment, Mylo is a bio-based leather alternative that is backed by brands like adidas, lululemon, Stella McCartney, and more.
A team of scientists and engineers at Bolt Threads, Emeryville, CA/USA, have developed a state-of-the-art process to grow and transform mycelium into a high-quality alternative for animal and synthetic-based leather. The process begins with mycelium cells grown on beds of sawdust and other organic material. Billions of cells grow to form an interconnected 3D network which is processed, tanned, and dyed to make the end product. Once the mycelium is harvested, the remaining material is composted.
After processing and dyeing, the sheet of mycelium that becomes the Mylo material can be used to make footwear, handbags, wallets, phone cases, and various other products.