Science

Bolt Threads Comes at SXSW With Amazing Synthetic Spider Silk

spider web

Ready or not, fashion is about to be revolutionized by biotech companies. That’s what we got from Bolt Threads’ panel at SXSW, where we got a glimpse at Microsilk, a syntethic spider silk that, you guessed it, is made without involving spiders at all.

“The way we do that is by studying spider silk  protein that makes silk fibers and we optimize the protein,” explained one of the makers during the Bolt Threads SXSW panel.

Because spider silk fibers are incredibly soft and yet durable and capable of withstanding a lot of tension, they provided Bolt Threads the inspiration to create a sustainable material.

Not just at SXSW but at other major events, the topic of fast fashion and its impact on the planet has come up time and time again.

Eileen Fisher, a clothing industry magnate, revealed recently that the clothing industry is the second polluter in the world, right behind oil, adding that “it’s a really nasty business…it’s a mess.”

In this context, it’s no wonder that Bolt Threads has already secured more than $200 million in funding and partnered with eco-conscious brands like Patagonia and Stella McCartney.

The company is also experimenting with biomaterials derived from mycelium, the underground root structures of mushrooms.

On Kickstarter, it managed to raise more than $70,000 for a “leather” bag that looks incredibly genuine, yet is entirely petroleum-free and animal free.

Yes, the bag is made of mushroom parts!

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