Materials solutions company Bolt Threads announces a new multi-project collaboration with biotech firm Ginkgo Bioworks to increase the efficiency and performance of Bolt’s portfolio, and to develop novel biomaterial proteins. The companies’ first project will focus on optimizing production of Bolt’s Mylo™ leather alternative.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with them again to optimize the production of our mycelium technology”
Made from mycelium, the underground root structures of mushrooms, Mylo is an animal-free and sustainable “unleather: that does not require livestock or petroleum inputs. During Bolt’s production process, the mycelium is grown in a foamy layer that can be harvested, dyed and transformed into fully customizable sheets. Mylo can then be used to make a wide range of products such as handbags, footwear, wallets, and phone cases.
Mylo is already been utilized in handbags and accessories by top fashion houses such as adidas, Stella McCartney, GANNI and lululemon.
“Over the last few years, the largest fashion brands worldwide and the textiles industry have collectively recognized the need to develop more sustainable and low-footprint materials. Bolt Threads is at the forefront of this shift, and Mylo represents this future,” said Jason Kelly, CEO and co-founder, Ginkgo Bioworks. “We are excited to leverage our Foundry and Codebase to help drive down the cost of producing Mylo making the product more accessible to a variety of markets where innovative and exciting alternative materials can be used.”
As part of the collaboration, Ginkgo aims to increase the growth rate of Bolt’s mycelium, which will help lower Mylo’s overall production costs. The partnership is the two companies’ latest venture, as they previously worked together on improving production efficiency for Bolt’s synthetic silk, known as b-silk™.
More accessible materials
Bolt’s innovative biomaterials have already led to successful partnerships with leading fashion brands, including top leather tannery Heller-Leder and designer Stella McCartney, who debuted the “world’s first” commercial luxury bag made with Mylo leather. In addition to materials, Ginkgo Bioworks has applied its biotech to a number of food innovations, including Evo Foods’ plant-based boiled eggs and animal-free egg proteins.
“Ginkgo’s expertise in engineering biology has enabled us to accelerate our work transforming the clean beauty and personal care industries with b-silk protein,” said David Breslauer, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Bolt Threads. “We are thrilled to be partnering with them again to optimize the production of our mycelium technology which will help make Mylo more accessible to consumers and brands alike.”