Spider Silk Startup Spins Into Retail By Buying An Apparel Company

by MR Magazine Staff

A startup specializing in synthetic spider silk now owns an apparel company. Bolt Threads, a Bay Area biotechnology startup, said Thursday that it bought New York City-based Best Made Company, an outdoor apparel company that sells clothing, custom-made axes, and artisanal camping gear. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but all of Best Made Company’s 25 employees will join Bolt Threads. Bolt Threads has caught the attention of venture capitalists with technology that it claims can produce artificial spider silk that can be used to create clothing. Last summer, it landed $50 million in funding and partnered with outdoor clothing company Patagonia to continue developing synthetic spider silk for apparel. Although spiders typically produce seven different types of silk, each for different purposes like wrapping egg sacks or ensnaring prey, Bolt Threads concentrates on what’s known as dragline silk, said Bolt Threads CEO Dan Widmaier. This particular silk, used by spiders to lower themselves like mini mountain climbers, is noted for its durability and toughness, making it useful as a possible biodegradable material for clothing. Read more at Fortune.