4 July 2023
Materials developer Bolt Threads has announced that it has stopped making its Mylo mycelium-based product, writes Leatherbiz.
In recent comments to Vogue Business, Bolt Threads co-counter and chief executive, Dr Dan Widmaier, said: “We have paused Mylo to reassess what works and what will work in the future.” Asked if the production of Mylo could start up again in future, possibly following the sale of the technology to another group, he said all options were on the table.
However, he confirmed that Bolt Threads had been unable to raise enough funding to take its plans for the material forward, in spite of high-profile projects with brands including adidas, Kering, Lululemon and, especially, Stella McCartney.
In 2022, the Stella McCartney brand developed a handbag called the Frayme Mylo, putting it on sale for $3,500. The label’s eponymous designer said of the product: “This is a moment in fashion history, the world’s first-ever luxury bag crafted from mycelium.” For its part, adidas created a version of its Stan Smith tennis shoe in Mylo in 2021. Searches on these brands’ e-commerce sites on July 3 this year indicated that neither product was commercially available.
Dr Widmaier’s comments to Vogue Business make it clear that Bolt Threads has been unable to raise enough investment to scale up production of Mylo. He said: “Scale-up is the most expensive and hardest part, and there are no shortcuts.” He said fundraising had been a challenge for all fashion start-ups for the last 18 months and said those who have been able to raise funding “mostly deal with artificial intelligence”.