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Fungi Takes Center Stage at TED2022: A New Era

It’s not every day that a bioengineer takes the stage at TED to talk fashion. Bolt Threads’ Founder and CEO, Dan Widmaier, unveiled the potential for mycelium to change fashion forever at TED2022: A New Era, an unforgettable five-day gathering in Vancouver, BC. Discover why the biggest brands in fashion are rallying behind Mylo™.


A Vibrantly Forward-Thinking Community

TED continues to be a powerful platform for innovation, bringing together scientists, planet advocates, and creators across industries to address some of our time’s biggest issues with wildly creative solutions for a better tomorrow. Dan spoke alongside an impressive lineup, including Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and many more.

Materials Matter, Now More Than Ever

So, why was a self-described “proud life-long nerd” talking fashion? Well, our closets are filled with all kinds of different materials: cotton, leather, nylon, and polyester. These materials matter and they’re the reason fashion is in a sustainability crisis. That’s why our team at Bolt is committed to finding a more sustainable way to make the products we can’t live without—the key word being “finding”.


“The answers to all of fashion’s materials problems are available today out there in nature. And it’s our job as scientists to go find the best inventions from nature’s four-billion-year catalog of greatest hits and bring them to the world of design.” – Dan Widmaier, Bolt Threads Founder & CEO

Natural Innovation Is Just Underfoot

What if the solutions to fashion’s sustainability crisis are hiding in nature? That’s where we found mycelium, the root-like structure of mushrooms and the key ingredient in Mylo, our sustainable alternative to leather. While cows take years to raise, our mycelium takes less than two weeks to grow in a state-of-the-art vertical farming facility powered by 100% renewable energy. Mylo — in addition to b-silk™ and Microsilk™ — is tangible proof that we can harness the innovation that already exists within nature to change our material world.

“This story, Mylo’s story, is just one small example in a much broader movement — it’s the one I know — but in the last few years, countless scientists have joined us in this journey of a sustainable materials revolution. And in the coming years, I think we’re going to see amazing advances that replace all the harmful materials in your closet, in your home, and your car. And my hope is that by sharing this journey with Mylo, it can act as a blueprint that these others can follow to more quickly improve this world for all of us.” – Dan Widmaier, Bolt Threads Founder & CEO

Watch the TED Talk: The Future of Fashion — Made From Mushrooms


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