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Collaboration Between Luxury Brands & Mushroom-based Artificial Leather: Who is Sustainable Material Pioneer 'Bolt Threads'?

In recent years, due to the growing concerns about environmental issues and the ethical treatment of animals confronting the fashion industry, opportunities to see real fur and real leather are decreasing. When luxury brands using these materials hold fashion shows, there are often animal rights activists protesting outside the venue, suggesting that attitudes towards these issues have become stronger than before.
One of the luxury brands that has always refrained from using real fur and real leather is 'Stella McCartney'. I remember being surprised at the time, as there were hardly any such brands around 20 years ago. Nowadays, eco-fur and vegan leather are probably perceived not as 'cheap items', but as 'good for the earth' and 'cool'. Times are constantly changing.
The San Francisco-based startup 'Bolt Threads' that I interviewed this time, is attracting attention as the company that developed 'Mylo™', a new material derived from mushroom mycelium. This material is being featured in collaborations with major companies worldwide, such as 'Stella McCartney', 'Adidas', 'Kering', and 'Lululemon', garnering significant attention.
I spoke with Dan Widmaier, co-founder and CEO of Bolt Threads, about mushroom leather, which is attracting attention as an alternative to animal-derived leather.
Dan Widmaier
Dan Widmaier

Bolt Threads Co-Founder & CEO

Creating the Future of Humanity with Sustainable Materials

Firstly, can you tell us about the process and reasons for establishing Bolt Threads?
Bolt Threads is an innovative company established to meet the societal needs for sustainable materials. Humans and societies have thrived on Earth for over 2000 years. However, the increasing world population of over 8 billion people and the proliferation of the middle class pose significant challenges to the earth's ability to sustain natural resources. We seriously need to consider what kind of world we should leave for future generations.
Bolt Threads was founded on the principle of wanting to leave a vibrant and diverse world for the future of humanity where all people can prosper. To achieve this, we need to solve environmental issues ranging from atmospheric carbon to the materials used in everyday life.
From Lululemon's yoga mats to Christian Louboutin's shoes, all the products that we use in our daily life have a story in terms of the manufacturing process, usage, and disposal of their materials.
Lululemon yoga mat using Mylo™
Lululemon yoga mat using Mylo™
Lululemon bag made with Mylo™
Lululemon bag made with Mylo™
By integrating the new demand for materials used in everyday items and the technology in the bio-materials field, Bolt Threads has created innovative technologies. We believe that by producing better materials, we can contribute to building a better world, one of the challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.
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