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November 16, 2022

Bolt Threads Greener Pastures Initiative rewards shift from animal leathers

Bolt Threads will reward brands that move away from animal leathers with preferential access to its Mylo vegan leather under its new Greener Pastures Pledge.

By Hannah Abdulla

Announced on stage at Web Summit together with Ganni founder Nicolaj Reffstrup, Bolt Threads said under its Greener Pastures Pledge, brands that commit to eliminating animal-derived leather from their products will be offered preferential access to Mylo.

The pledge was inspired by Bolt Threads partner and Danish affordable luxury brand Ganni’s commitment to phase out its use of virgin leather by 2023. The brand successfully phased out virgin animal leather from its Ready-to-Wear line in 2021.

In 2021, Ganni announced that it would be introducing Mylo into its product line as part of the brand’s ‘Fabrics of the Future’, an ambitious in-house platform that sees the brand researching and providing investments for fabric innovations. This year the brand launched its first limited collection of bags and small leather goods made from Mylo, giving consumers a choice for an animal-free alternative to traditional leather where neither quality or aesthetics are compromised. This partnership with Bolt Threads is ongoing and Ganni plans to make more Mylo products commercially available in 2023.

“Leather products account for just 9% of our sales and is the material which accounts for most of our emissions according to Ganni’s carbon auditor, Plan.A. Although highly profitable, phasing out virgin animal leather by 2023 is a no-brainer if we want to reach our 50% absolute carbon reduction target by 2027. It’s our job to source and invest in low-carbon solutions, like Mylo, that aren’t just at par with traditional product offerings but exceed them. But for that to happen brands need to place bets and take risks. There are no perfect solutions out there yet, but we need to keep investing in innovation in order to create real change over time. This is why I hope as many brands as possible commit to Bolt Threads’ Greener Pastures Pledge,” said Reffstrup.

Bolt Threads’ Mylo material is under extraordinary demand as the company actively works to scale its supply chain with the opening of a new commercial facility, which is why preferential access will be granted to those brands who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the growth of new material innovations over animal-based materials. Last year the bio-engineered leather Mylo became one of the first vegan novel materials to receive the Eurofins Vegan Verification Mark.

The Greener Pastures Pledge is designed to galvanize brands to help the fashion industry move forward more responsibly. While no perfect solution exists today, a collective of brands publicly committing to using alternative materials and challenging the status quo is indicative of progress being made in the industry.

“We know how challenging it is for brands to alter their supply chains, and the brands that dare to do so in an effort to minimize their environmental impact deserve to be rewarded for their trailblazing efforts,” said Dan Widmaier, CEO and founder of Bolt Threads. “The Greener Pastures Pledge is an incentive for those brands who are daring enough to make a real change by committing to high-quality, animal free alternatives—not only for their customers but also for our planet.”

Mylo is an innovative material made from mycelium, the underground root-like system of fungi.

Mushrooms are the fruits of mycelium and Mylo is widely known as “mushroom leather.” Mylo material is certified bio-based, 100% animal free, chromium free, DMFa free, and is grown in cutting-edge vertical farming facilities that are powered by 100% renewable energy.

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