Sustainable Leather: Seizing a Business Opportunity in the EU Market

Last updated: 26 September 2023


Have you heard of plant-based leather? Silicon Valley biotech start-up introduces Mylo™, a mycelium-based leather alternative, to the Netherlands. 

This blog will explain why the US start-up chooses Europe as a global office and what the opportunities are for sustainable leather in the European market.


Introducing Bolt's Leather Alternatives


A start-up from Silicon Valley, Bolt specializes in creating environmentally friendly and sustainable materials, such as leather alternatives, for the apparel industry and other consumer products. Bolt’s material Mylo, built from the mycelium cells of fungi, has made waves in The New York Times and The Washington Post as an innovative development in the consumer biomaterials industry.

The company has well-known partners in the apparel and fashion sector. Apart from Stella McCartney, Bolt announced a new consortium via partnerships with Adidas, Lululemon, and Kering to invest in the development and production of Mylo-made sustainable leather products. Products from this unprecedented Mylo consortium will be available for purchase starting in 2021.

“Bolt’s mission is to deliver way better materials for a better world at scale, and scale plays a critical role here. In order to produce Mylo at large scale, Bolt needed to build a novel supply chain from the ground up – one that can produce millions of square feet of consistent-quality Mylo at a price that is competitive with leather,” said Dan Widmaier, CEO and Founder of Bolt Threads.


Exporting Sustainable Leather to Europe


As Bolt was considering expansion into the European apparel & fashion market, they realized that because of the logistics and operational specifics combined with the local challenges, outside help would reduce risks, save time and reduce costs.

The Netherlands emerged as Bolt’s clear choice for expanding sustainable leather in Europe due to the country’s position as a leader in sustainability.

Via the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) in San Francisco, Bolt was introduced to Oost NL, who helped the innovative company establish in Arnhem by pointing out possible locations, advising on laws and regulations, and connecting Bolt with the local network.


leather alternatives


Dutch sustainability offers an excellent match for Bolt


Bolt is committed to ensuring that everything it does is environmentally friendly. As an extension, all of Bolt’s partners must meet top sustainability requirements.

“When the time came to open a Bolt European office, the Netherlands was a clear choice,” said Widmaier. “We had strong partnerships with businesses already, and the environment for conducting business there as a foreign firm was quite welcoming.”

Bolt ultimately selected Arnhem for its production of Mylo because of the prevalence of mushrooms and mushroom production in the region. Mushrooms are critical to the Dutch agrifood industry, in fact, the Netherlands is the No. 2 exporter of mushrooms worldwide. In addition, Arnhem, with a fashion school ArtEZ, is known as a fashion city in the Netherlands.


Sustainable Leather Opportunities in the EU Market


The Netherlands proved to be an excellent match for Bolt's plant-based, sustainable leather, given the country’s commitment to sustainability across industry, knowledge institutes and government. For example, the Netherlands has set a goal to achieve a 100% circular economy by 2050. In addition, Amsterdam Airport Schipol and the nearby Düsseldorf Airport offer Bolt easy access to the rest of Europe.

So, are there any opportunities for your business in the biomaterials industry in Europe? Let's identify them together to leverage your success. Find out more about EuroDev Sales Outsourcing services.


Source: Susan van Boxtel,

Spread the value