Scalability means impact. In the materials industry, no matter how high-performing, beautiful and sustainable your material is, if you can’t scale it, you won’t make an impact.
Scalability allows you to deliver your innovations to market in the volumes that commercial partners require: a hard truth that’s even harder to execute. This is what we’ve been working on for the last couple of years at MycoWorks: building the first fully scalable Fine Mycelium™ production facility. Fine Mycelium™ is a one-of-a-kind materials science platform to custom grow biomaterials.
Offering full transparency and traceability throughout the entire process, our flagship Fine Mycelium™ product, Reishi™, is distinctly different from other alternative leathers that are merely fibers of mycelium, cactus, apple, pineapple, etc., embedded in plastics such as polyurethane. Reishi™ is the only made-to-order, natural material that compares in quality, hand-feel and performance to the finest animal leathers, with lower environmental impact and unprecedented freedom to customize.
During a challenging time for the world, we kept building and thriving. With our pilot plant producing sheets of Fine Mycelium™ at full speed,
we’re one major step closer to getting our high-performing biomaterial into the hands of customers around the globe.
Not an easy task to build the first (ever!) scalable production facility for a material that is alive—something both natural and unique in the world.
“It’s easy to manufacture things, but very hard to manufacture things that have the same heart as the original craftsman piece,”
observes Doug Hardesty, MycoWorks Chief Operating Officer, describing our Fine Mycelium™ production process.
“Unlike the artist, my creativity is not in the first thing but in replicating that one thing to a million things,”
he continues. Doug is the face of this accomplishment. A manufacturing expert and inspirational coach, Doug has been leading MycoWorks’ manufacturing team since 2020.
Helping people is Doug’s mission in life; giving everyone a voice, inspiring, mentoring and offering people tools to improve are just some of his greatest offerings. When he was first introduced to MycoWorks, Doug was quite skeptical—building a manufacturing system to produce a living organism at scale was something completely new for him. But coming from a successful career at P&G followed by years of consulting, this humble overachiever was intrigued by MycoWorks’ long-term vision, and ready to apply his expertise to a manufacturing challenge of an entirely new nature. MycoWorks was inviting him to disrupt an entire industry; from its supply chain to its production facilities and manufacturing experts, this new class of material required a new system—a new way of doing things.
This former military leader saw the opportunity to make an impact in many people’s lives.
“It’s all about the people; I put the power on them,”
Doug shares, “I give our Fine Mycelium™ experts a voice and the opportunity to grow. My job is to listen. Our production workers are the ones driving our product innovation. This is very unique.”
From engineers to operators, technicians and scientists, everyone at MycoWorks is solving a problem; there’s a continuous flow of information between manufacturing and R&D, and there’s trust in our manufacturing experts’ unique insights on working with a living organism in a highly controlled environment.
“Every really good idea comes from a team of people, not from a single individual,”
Doug observes, reflecting on his team and the exciting challenge of scaling Fine Mycelium™ sheets.
With our pilot plant working at full steam and Doug leading and growing a top-tier team of Fine Mycelium™ experts, it’s only a matter of time before additional Fine Mycelium™ production facilities open up across the globe. We can’t wait to unleash the full potential of our technology for the benefit of all!