Skip to content


1st July 2021

Mykor is a new biotechnology and design company based in Kent that makes a carbon-negative material with thousands of potential uses.

Portrait of Mykor’s founder Valentina DipietroFounder Valentina Dipietro, a materials designer, researcher, and graduate of the Royal College of Art in Textiles (MA) and NABA Milan in Fashion Design (BA), has already been shortlisted for her work at the UN Young Champions of the Earth Prize and is a winner of Innovate UK Young Innovators Award.

A carbon-negative material that can make buildings and interiors greener

Using 3D printing, alongside mycology to inoculate and propagate mycelium on urban wood waste, Mykor creates a material that is fire-resistant, sound-absorbing, and insulating.

Whilst currently making environmentally-friendly household items, such as bowls, vases, planters, and coasters using wood waste from sawmills and from Medway Council, the potential is almost endless.

The material could be used to make furniture, as well as having applications in the construction industry and interior design. Realistically it could be a green replacement for polystyrene foam in building insulation used in walls, roofs, and foundations.

The team has already created carbon-negative insulation made from forestry and construction waste sourced in London and Kent. Mykor’s insulating and soundproofing panels are comparable to foam boards in both performance and aesthetics but without any toxic or non-renewable additives.

What is Mycelium?

Close picture of Mykor’s carbon-negative multi-use material showing the inter woven mushroom root fibres coloured blue and white with natural dyes. Caption: Mykor’s carbon-negative multi-use material coloured with natural dyes.Mycelium is the “root” of mushrooms and it works as a natural “glue” to bind wood waste with natural dyes. Given the right environmental conditions, the mushroom strains bind the waste material and grow over a few weeks to create the magic Mykor material.

As well as using local waste and being carbon-negative the material can also easily decompose in as little as 45 days. Mycelium products are as durable as wood, decomposition will start only if they are broken down, watered, and put into the soil.

“I want to reconnect human beings with nature,” said founder, Valentina Dipietro. “It is really important to learn how to manufacture in collaboration with nature and not against it. My legacy is to make sure that others in the future will be able to use this technology for good.”

Kate Willard OBE, said: “I am really excited about this young company. A carbon-negative multi-use material such as Mykor is a really exciting prospect and Valentina’s vision and achievements are truly commendable. I am delighted to welcome Mykor as an Estuary Visionary.”

Find out more: 

If you would like to nominate your organisation or one you know to become a Visionary, please get in touch.