The New York Times Announces the Mylo Consortium
Last month, we announced the creation of the Mylo™ consortium – an unprecedented partnership with four iconic global companies who have secured exclusive access to our innovative Mylo material. Marrying deep science with high design, the consortium is the largest joint development agreement in consumer biomaterials to date.
These forward-thinking companies – adidas, Kering, lululemon, and Stella McCartney – collectively represent hundreds of millions of square feet of potential demand for Mylo. And while we’re incredibly proud to join arms with these world-class companies, the consortium is not just for bragging rights in the name of science. To us, this partnership opens up a world of opportunities in material innovation and creative solutions to reduce our environmental impact. Sign up to join the waitlist for products made with Mylo.
“We are thrilled to be working with partners who recognize that we are in a race to develop sustainable solutions to conventional technologies,” said Bolt Threads CEO Dan Widmaier. “They are joining forces and investing in a solution that can scale: Mylo.”
Here is what the Mylo consortium represents to us, and how it helps us envision a brighter future.
Bringing Mylo Products to Market in 2021
We have spent the past few years honing the desirable qualities of Mylo, which has led to its demand in some of the world’s leading design studios. Made from infinitely renewable mycelium, Mylo looks and feels like leather – and soon, everyone is going to be able to see and touch for themselves.
“Many people associate leather with luxury but since the beginning I always wanted to approach things in a different way because killing animals for the sake of fashion is quite simply not acceptable,” said Stella McCartney, Founder and Creative Director. “Working so closely with Bolt Threads since 2017 has been a career changing experience and I cannot wait to launch Mylo products to market in 2021.”
Consortium partners were drawn to Mylo because of its remarkable resemblance to soft, supple leather. Mylo can be used like animal or synthetic leather and can take on any color, finish, or emboss.
“For too long the industry standard has categorized materials as either natural or highly functional – but not both, said James Carnes, VP Global Brand Strategy at adidas. “The way to remedy this is to innovate responsibly with solutions that challenge the status quo, and products that use the best of what nature has spent millions of years perfecting – like Mylo – are critical to that.”
The first Mylo products will be available for purchase in stores and online starting in 2021. If you haven’t already, sign up for the waitlist on the Mylo website and follow @mylo_unleather on Instagram for the latest updates.
Scaling Mylo for Accessibility
A common question we receive is whether Mylo will eventually become available to other, smaller brands and designers. The answer is YES! Accessibility is 100% our goal for Mylo. We wouldn’t be putting in the work if we didn’t believe Mylo has the potential to replace animal and synthetic leather in our everyday lives. But creating a brand new material from scratch is challenging and expensive. We are working with a global team of experts to engineer entirely new processes. After all, the process for making leather as good as it is today took thousands of years.
We know that big changes can come from incremental steps (we like to call them ‘lil wins’), and we consider the Mylo consortium to be a leap toward our goal. At this stage, we need large brands to help subsidize the massive costs that come with developing a novel process and building a supply chain to make Mylo at commercial scale. Our consortium partners are enabling us to develop a process that will eventually produce a high quality leather alternative at a comparable price to leather hide. That’s going to take a few years, but we are grateful to have partners who will help us get there. In the meantime, we are working on making smaller quantities available to crafters and artisans via collaborations.
A Global Shift Toward Sustainability
The process of finding the right brand partners was highly selective, based on mission alignment and a demonstrated commitment to sustainability. The four selected companies appreciate that Mylo is developed from the ground up with environmental impact at the forefront. For the Mylo consortium partners, this is more than a marketing story, as they are investing in science and research to make sure the material is truly better for the planet.
“I have always been convinced that innovation is key to addressing the sustainability challenge that luxury is facing,” said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman & CEO, Kering. “Finding innovative, alternative materials and fabrics can potentially drastically reduce the environmental impact of our industry over the long term. This is why Kering is actively looking for innovations in this field and it’s why we became an early supporter of Bolt Threads. Mylo is one of the very promising solutions that we have identified.”
The Mylo consortium marks a major milestone in the fashion industry, as global companies come together in an ongoing commitment to develop materials and products for a more sustainable future.
“At lululemon, we are committed to making products and operating our business in an innovative, sustainable way for our guests,” said Sun Choe, Chief Product Officer, lululemon. “The Mylo consortium demonstrates how leading global brands can collaborate across industries to be part of a lasting solution to restore a healthy environment.”
We are excited to partner with these agents of change and can’t wait to see how this consortium inspires future partnerships in fashion and beyond. It is our dream to not only make Mylo the new material standard in terms of quality and sustainability, but that the Mylo consortium sets a precedent for other companies to work together in support of a healthier planet.