Bolt Threads has brought together a few new and existing partners, including Stella McCartney, Kering (the fashion house behind brands like Balenciaga, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Bottega Veneta), Lululemon, and Adidas to form a consortium to study the use of mushrooms on an enterprise basis will replace leather in products, the company said.
These companies will be among the first to introduce products with bolt threads Mushroom-based leather substitute is expected to be launched in 2021.
“I have always believed that innovation is the key to meeting the sustainability challenge that luxury faces. The search for innovative, alternative materials and substances can drastically reduce the environmental impact of our industry in the long term, ”said François-Henri Pinault, Chairman and CEO of Kering, in a statement.
The company, which has raised over $ 200 million since its inception nearly 11 years ago, faces pretty tough competition. Companies like MycoWorks and Modern Meadow have alternative leather products in the works. However, these partnerships can go a long way in separating Bolt from the rest of the herd.
Bolt Threads investors include Foundation Capital, Baillie Gifford, Founders Fund, Formation 8, and the Nan Fung Group, a privately held Hong Kong-based conglomerate with significant holdings in the textile and fashion industries.
What the doubled interest in leather goods means for the alternative spider silk that was the company's original product is unclear. There hasn't been much news on the silk front since the company launched its $ 314 tie in 2017.
There is clearly an interest in the fashion industry's ability to clean up. Consumers are demanding it and new brands geared towards sustainability are regularly launched.
Brian Kateman, President and Co-Founder of the Reducetarian Foundation, wrote last year, "Traditional fashion is killing the planet."
The textile industry alone emits 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gases every year – more than all ocean-going ships and international flights combined – and consumes 98 million tons of oil. Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water, and overall the clothing industry accounts for 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Worst of all, however, the garments generated by this massive consumption of resources are quickly thrown away: According to a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 73 percent of all material used in the manufacture of clothing was incinerated or landfilled in 2015.