Mylo™ is a material made from mycelium that looks and feels like leather.
Mushrooms are the fruit of mycelium, which is a sprawling, infinitely renewable, interlaced web that threads through soil, plants and other trees. Fungi, which include mushrooms, play a critical role in breaking down organic matter to provide nutrients to nearby plants. Imagine the branches and vines that grow apples or grapes - mycelium functions like those twisting, branching supports just under the surface. It brings sustenance to all living species and is the literal world wide web.
We start by reproducing what happens under the forest floor in a controlled indoor environment. We take mycelial cells and feed them sawdust and organic material while controlling the humidity and temperature among other variables. The mycelium grows into a foamy layer — imagine a big bag of smashed marshmallows. Once the mycelium is harvested, the remaining material is composted. We then process and dye that sheet of mycelium and it becomes the Mylo material that gets used to make footwear, handbags, wallets, phone cases, and other gorgeous products.
Bolt Threads is a material solutions company in California that invents and scales advanced biomaterials that put us on a path towards a more sustainable future. Mylo is a Bolt Threads material and was created by Bolt’s team of world-class scientists and engineers.
Mylo material is created by Bolt Threads, a U.S. material innovations company based in California. It is grown by expert mushroom farmers in indoor vertical farming facilities and processed by scientists.
Yes, if you’re into that sort of thing. Check out this grow kit if you want to learn more.
Technically speaking, mycelium, from which Mylo material is made, is a member of the fungi kingdom, which means it’s neither plant nor animal. While fungi often grow among plants, and you find them in the produce section of the market, scientifically speaking they are classified differently. Refresh your memory of junior high science and read more here.
Yes, though the term vegan means different things to different people. For some, it means a diet free of any animal products (such as meat, dairy, eggs, and, honey). For others, it goes beyond diet to include avoiding any products made from animals, like leather. However you define it, we don’t use animals or animal by-products to make Mylo material.
Each partner in our supply chain was selected because they are a world-class leader in their trade, and they meet our high labor and sustainable manufacturing practices. Mylo material is a high-quality material that requires a high skill level to process correctly. Our tanning partner has five generations of experience working with leather and meets top certifications in sustainability including a gold rating from the Leather Working Group.
Bolt Threads, a material solutions company based out of Emeryville, California. Mylo material was created by Bolt’s team of world-class scientists and engineers. Today we are in the process of scaling Mylo material production with the help of a select group of supply chain partners who adhere to leading sustainability principles and maintain ethical labor conditions.
Mylo material is produced using a data-focused framework that aims to make the lowest environmental impact. We conducted an initial life cycle assessment (LCA) in 2019. Now we’re using LCA to identify hotspots, and design our production process for reduced impact. We look forward to sharing more about Mylo material’s life cycle impacts, as we scale up our production.
Yes. We have partnered with world experts in tanning and dyeing who have been recognized with global sustainability certifications to help build a process designed for human health and safety and the lowest environmental impact.
The processing and finishing chemistries for Mylo™ material are intentionally evaluated and selected using Green Chemistry principles. Mylo material is free of substances of concern such as chromium and DMFa, two of the most noxious chemicals used in animal and synthetic leather respectively.
Given that leather has been at commercial scale for decades and Mylo material is still in small scale production, it's too early to have an independent study on Mylo material’s environmental footprint, but creating a sustainable upgrade to leather that checks the boxes for people who love leather is the entire reason we’re doing this.
Unlike leather production, making Mylo material doesn’t involve raising livestock. As disposable incomes rise around the globe, so will the demand for meat and leather goods. This demand can’t be met using the land and water it takes to raise cattle. We need smarter, more sustainable solutions.
The mycelium we grow for Mylo™ material is produced in days, unlike the resource intense process of raising livestock, which can take years.
Our preliminary impact assessment indicates the incredible environmental benefits of mycelium-based leather. In 2022, we’ll share the results of an independent life cycle assessment.
Unlike synthetic leather, which is usually made from a synthetic fabric and a polyurethane or PVC coating, Mylo material is made from mycelium and is not petroleum-derived. Additionally, Mylo material’s processing and finishing chemistries are intentionally evaluated and selected using Green Chemistry principles. We will undertake a full impact assessment of Mylo material in 2022 and we look forward to sharing those findings with the world.
Our goal with Mylo material is to consider every aspect of the lifecycle and reduce its environmental impact throughout the whole process. The mycelium used to make Mylo material is infinitely renewable and grown by expert mushroom farmers and scientists in indoor vertical farming facilities in Europe and the United States.
Mylo material is not currently biodegradable, which is the case for pretty much all leather and alternative leathers that we are aware of. Sustainability is a measure of inputs and processing steps as well as end of life. In the future, we hope to create versions of Mylo material that can be repurposed and reused as long as possible, and then be returned to natural and industrial systems in a cycle that is truly sustainable.
While Mylo material is not currently plastic-free, it is not petroleum-based, unlike synthetic leather, which is made from a synthetic fabric and a polyurethane or PVC coating (meaning it's 100% plastic). Most animal hides are finished with added chemistry (up to 40% of the weight of leather is fat liquors, plasticizers, and coatings), whereas all Mylo inputs are based on rigorously applied principles of Green Chemistry and minimal environmental impact.
Mylo is also certified 50-85% bio-based, meaning it's made predominantly from inputs that are derived from renewable ingredients found in nature. This certification is received through bio-based testing by DIN CERTCO.
We believe that eventually eliminating plastics is the right goal for Mylo material and we are always striving to increase the bio-based content as well. But we also know that a material’s potential for impact depends on brand and consumer adoption, and a majority of consumers will not accept big sacrifices in quality compared to leather. We have not yet seen a completely plastic-free product that meets brand and consumer requirements for softness, strength, and suppleness, but we will keep working toward that goal with Mylo material.
No. There are no genetically engineered microbes required in manufacturing it.
Umm. No one eats leather, so why would anyone want to eat Mylo material? Mylo material contains dyes and conditioners that are not suitable for consumption. While technically you could eat unfinished mycelium, it would be like eating a handful of twigs and sawdust. Not exactly appetizing.
Thank you for your interest! These are exciting times for us and we are overwhelmed by the demand for Mylo material. While Mylo material is not currently available for sale beyond our exclusive consortium partners, we are working to increase supply to work with additional brands and designers in the future. Please continue to check back for more updates.
adidas Stan Smith Mylo is a concept shoe and isn’t available for purchase yet. adidas plans to release a small drop at the end of 2021 and scale up from there.
As a long-term partner, Stella revealed a Mylo™ bustier top and trousers in March 2021 as part of her latest exploration into designing with Mylo material. These items are part of her design process to inform future designers featuring the material and are not currently available for sale; Stella plans to launch further Mylo material products in the months ahead that will be available for consumer purchase. More details will be shared when available.
The first Mylo material products will be available starting in 2021. Product availability and timing will vary by designer, and we look forward to sharing exact dates as they are available.
If properly cared for and stored, your Mylo products should last a long time. Our longevity tips and recommendations include storing Mylo material products in their original packaging (ie: dust bag or shoebox if provided) and stuffing them (ie: crushed paper, old clothes, shoe trees) to retain shape. See our care instructions for more detail.
You can wipe it with a soft, damp cloth to remove anything that spills on it; otherwise, just store it properly and it should gain a nice patina with use.
New technology like Mylo material always requires an investment in the beginning, which means the first pieces to market will cost more. As demand scales up, the cost will come down. It’s very important to us that Mylo material reaches price parity with leather over time so that more consumers can choose this highly desirable, sustainable alternative.
Currently, every centimeter of Mylo material is being used for testing and prototyping by our consortium partners. We unfortunately don’t have extra material to share at this time. Please continue to check back for more updates, and in the meantime, sign up for our Mylo material email list to be the first to know when samples are more readily available.
The Mylo™ Driver Bag - Backer Edition was only sold in a limited quantity via Kickstarter, and rolling delivery is scheduled to begin in 2021. The look, texture, and performance of the Mylo material have been drastically improved since the prototype was designed in 2018, and the final bags will be created using a natural colored material. You can learn more on the Mylo Kickstarter blog.
The short answer is that breakthrough technology takes a long time. At this stage, Mylo material is dependent on large brands to help subsidize the massive costs that come with developing a novel process and building a supply chain to make Mylo material at commercial scale. Accessibility is 100% our goal for Mylo material and while it is not currently available for sale beyond our exclusive consortium partners, we are working to increase supply so we can collaborate with additional brands and designers in the future.