This week, biotechnology startup Bolt Threads debuted a handbag made from its proprietary vegan material, Mylo. The Mylo Driver Bag is a unisex, hand-stitched tote created in collaboration with Portland-based brand Chester Wallace that features a canvas base and components made with mycelium—mushroom root systems that Bolt Threads grows into 3D structures on a bed of corn stalks before compressing the mass into durable, animal-free leather. “Unlike the traditional leather-making processes, the creation of Mylo™ doesn’t involve raising livestock, or any of the substantial associated environmental costs, including the biomass needed to be grown to feed livestock, the land that’s used to grow that biomass that could be otherwise storing carbon, and the significant amount of methane produced,” Jamie Bainbridge, Bolt Threads Vice President of Product Development, told VegNews. The Mylo Driver Bag is available for pre-order on Kickstarter, with a prize option that includes a tour of the Bolt Threads factory in California where the company is innovating several vegan solutions to animal-based materials such as vegan “spider” Microsilk—made from fermented yeast cells that are spun into thread in a manner that mimics the way spiders construct webs. Last year, fashion mogul Stella McCartney used the company’s vegan silk to create a gold dress that was displayed at the “Items: Is Fashion Modern?” exhibit at the Museum of Modern Arts in New York.
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