Bolt Threads, a company founded in 2009 to create the next generation of advanced materials, announced a multi-project collaboration with Ginkgo Bioworks. Bolt hopes to optimize the production efficiency of their Mylo material and expand their portfolio by developing novel proteins for biomaterials.

What is Mylo? Mylo is an animal-free, sustainable alternative to leather grown from mycelium‑from mushrooms. Mycelium grows into a foamy layer that, once harvested, can be dyed and processed into sheets of material that can be customized to a desired size, color, shape, and thickness. Mylo can be used in footwear, handbags, wallets, phone cases, and other products, and is already in use by brands like adidas, Stella McCartney, GANNI, and lululemon.

Credit: Bolt Threads

Through this collaboration, Ginkgo aims to increase the growth rate of Bolt’s mycelium, lowering the overall production costs of Mylo. The two companies already work together to optimize the sustainability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of Bolt Threads’ b-silk protein manufacturing process.

“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.”

The Mylo Driver Bag

At least one Mylo product is available for purchase: the Frayme Mylo Shoulder Bag by Stella McCartney. Other products, such as the adidas Stan Smith Mylo shoe are not available yet. Bolt says that others, such as the Lululemon’s Meditation and Yoga Mat Bag and Barrel Duffel Bag are available, but the links note that they are both sold out.

Earlier in the week, Dan Widmaier, PhD, CEO and founder of Bolt Threads tweeted that it was a “bittersweet day” because the company was closing out the Mylo Kickstarter project which offered backers a Mylo Driver Bag, Mylo Puzzle Pouch, and key fob.

Credit: Bolt Threads

“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 CTO 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.”

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