MycoTEX: The sustainable innovation driving seamless production using compostable mushroom mycelium

24. April 2021

Dutch designer Aniela Hoitink is on a mission to change the way we use textiles. Known as the living material, with MycoTEX Aniela harnesses the organic and living properties of the compostable mushroom roots. Showcased in our forum for Sustainable Innovations in 2018, MycoTEX® is the ground breaking automated seamless manufacturing method allowing for custom-made products made from compostable mushroom roots.

As is the nature of living things, change and progress is a constant. From the early beginnings until now, Aniela takes us on her journey and talks us through the evolution of this sustainable innovation. From founding her own company, NEFFA, to scaling up production of MycoTEX, here’s how Aniela is changing the future of textiles.

MycoTEX seamless jacket - design in collaboration with Karin Vlug credits: Jeroen Dietz

How has your work evolved since you exhibited at our innovation hub Keyhouse in 2018 as part of the Sustainable Innovations forum?

Based on feedback we received from brands and consumers, we have changed our growing method and successfully created samples which are smooth and can feature a variety of textures for unique placement options. Now further on, the first reactions from potential customers are very promising. We are working towards the development of a pilot collection over the next 12 months. Even more exciting, we have now established our company NEFFA. We have expanded our team and are raising a first funding round to produce the pilot production.

Have you seen a change in the way companies approach collaborations in the last few years?

The interest in sustainable materials has grown extensively. The goal is to find out how sincere this interest is. Do they really want to start working with your materials and products or are they just filling up their library?

What is the difference between MycoTEX and other (mycelium) materials?

Most companies are interested in developing sustainable materials that fit into the conventional supply chain, as this is the easiest way to make an impact. This conventional production method is based on cutting & sewing and overproduction. This way of production generates a lot of waste, waste that once needed water, nutrients and CO2. Our holistic approach led us to the development of an automated seamless manufacturing method for biomaterials. This allows us to make a bigger impact in terms of sustainability rather than using sustainable materials alone. As our method is not based on cutting & sewing, we do not have this production waste. Furthermore, our supply chain is much more flexible and allows for personalisation at mass production scale.

MycoTEX seamless jacket at the Growing pavilion credits: Eric Melander
Aniela Hoitink working in the lab credits: Aniela Hoitink | MycoTEX

You are now in the process of scaling up the production of MycoTEX, can you share the highs & lows as well as the challenges you face to make this a reality?

Developing any company from scratch is hard but rewarding if you have a vision to follow. For us, the highs are all of the steps we take in the right direction. From finding the right partners who agree with your vision from the very first slide you show, to improving the material and achieving the result you like and more importantly seeing potential customers liking those results too.

The challenge is getting investors on board. A small ROI (return on investment) is something that most investors don’t like. The search to find the right investors takes a long time, trying to find those who are willing to join us and make an impact in the fashion industry. Clients are now used to sourcing sustainable materials and are approaching us for that reason. MycoTEX offers a product made using a seamless manufacturing technology which differs from the usual offer of fabrics by sheet or by meter. It can be challenging to convince them that our method is actually much more sustainable and worth the trouble to work with such an innovation.

MycoTEX wins the Global Change Award. credits: Aniela Hoitink | MycoTEX

MycoTEX was recently awarded the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Label, can you tell us what this will do for MycoTEX?

To receive the “Solar Impulse Efficient Solution” Label, MycoTEX was thoroughly assessed by a pool of independent experts according to 5 criteria covering the three main topics of feasibility, environmental impact and profitability. It is an external validation of our solution, which helps in attracting customers and investors, as this is a proof of high standards in profitability and sustainability.

MycoTEX first compostable mycelium dress credits: Aniela Hoitink | MycoTEX

Who is your dream company to collaborate with and why?

We would like to work with innovative companies who are eager to rethink products being made, companies like Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela or Mugler. Imaging the different shapes you can make if there is no need for seems, not even a shoulder or side seam. Kim Kardashian would be our dream type. Her curvy body is quite a challenge from a pattern-drawing point of view. With our seamless manufacturing method we could create the perfect fitting jacket for her.

Our thanks to Aniela for her insights and joining us in conversation as part of the Key Conversation series with Sustainable Innovations curator, Simon Angel. If you’re interested in a collaboration with Aniela Hoitink, she’d love to hear from you! Find out more here:

Let’s keep the conversation going … did this project spark an idea or do you have any questions? We’d love to hear from you, send us an email to