The Dutch Start-up MYCOTEX is part of a disruptive company named NEFFA | New Fashion Factory that attempts to change the way garments are produced. With the innovative new production process, MYCOTEX allows for personalised clothing made from mycelium. The Start-up produces high-quality textile products and garments for diverse applications in a sustainable way. Therefore, MYCOTEX was among the finalists of the ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2022 and subsequently chosen as the Start-up of the month of March 2023.

Year of Foundation:


Addresses the following SDGs:

SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), and SDG 13 (Climate Action)

a woman smiling towards the camera
The Founder of NEFFA and MYCOTEX, Aniela Hoitink.
a woman walking towards the outdoors through an opening door from a dark corridor, animated
NEFFA aims for revolutionizing the textile industry and show that personalisation is possible at mass scale.
a torso clad with a futuristic black garment with a robotic assembly machine in the corner
The new NEFFA production method gives unlimited design freedom and personalisation opportunity.

Making personalisation in fashion possible on a mass scale with mycelium

After gathering years of experience in the fashion industry, Aniela Hoitink started her company NEFFA because she hardly saw any innovation.
“As a designer, you start repeating yourself and that was exactly what I didn’t want – so in my company, I focused on fashion innovation and was really looking at technologies that were traditionally outside the fashion industry and integrated them. For example, I experimented with using solar panels in jackets to charge your mobile phone – I’m Dutch – during biking outside.”
, she says. Since art academy, Aniela had the personal quests of making personalization possible in fashion. Often, the garments that we produce now do not fit properly. She explains
“I like to watch these transformative fashion tv shows, you really see them glow up when they feel the perfect garment.”
This, however, is not really feasible in fashion as you would need a tailor each time which is really expensive. Aniela is convinced that sustainable fashion does not have to cost more than the non-sustainable alternative and has always looked into different aspects of personalization and when she was working with mycelium, she thought to have found the holy grail of enabling personalized fashion on a mass production scale. The design freedom is a result of mycelium being compatible with the NEFFA production process, which can be used to bring all slurry-based materials into any desired shape.
In 2014, she got in contact with professor Han Wösten from Utrecht University who, in order to experiment, wanted to work with artists and fashion designers who did not have a scientific background. From this cooperation resulted a proof of concept, or, in the case of MYCOTEX, a minimum viable product: a dress made from mycelium. Aniela was able to work in the University’s laboratory, won prices, and got her own lab space. With positive feedback from the fashion industry, she began expanding her ideas. Today, 5 people are working full time on the development of NEFFA’s material and production methods, as well as client management.
“We are always looking for improving and innovating things. For me, sustainability is always a part of that - Sustainablity is not a different topic, it’s always included in the innovation.”
This is the reason why the SDGs are part of the communication strategy, for introducing themselves but also for selection of partners. So that we can address the right brands – for a brand that is not interested in sustainability and innovation, she says, they are not really the right company for them at this moment.

A third way

What Aniela’s company NEFFA, which stands for NEw Fashion FActory, aims for, is to create a completely new supply chain for the fashion industry, an alternative to weaving, cutting and sewing. They start by growing mycelium using food grade ingredients. The mycelium is then filtered and harvested before applying it to a customisable mold, where it naturally bonds together and eventually forms the garment.
For a visualization of the production process, you can watch this video.
The NEFFA manufacturing method has three main benefits: First, the possibility to set up an automated manufacturing system which allows for producing on demand. This could bring production back to Europe, where we experience a shortage of staff but also of lack of experience in the sector. Second, it provides a fully sustainable supply chain: On an ecological level with food-grade natural ingredients that are not harmful to the environment, but also on a social level by not exposing employees to hazardous chemicals and secure regulated working hours. The third advantage is unlimited design freedom for brands. Without the need for seems and the possibility to have different textures within the same material, brands are not limited by the production method anymore.
The material properties of MYCOTEX are developed together with the brands depending on what they are looking for: Depending on the application the required traits might vary from longevity in general, sturdy to flexible materials, tensile strength, tear resistance, abrasion or visual properties like matte or shiny materials or leather-like haptic.
“Like all producers of materials, we have to meet these specs from the fashion companies”
, Aniela says,
“Another advantage we have over traditional materials is that we can create materials with different thicknesses within the same item. A bag, for example, can be thicker, and thereby stronger, on the bottom and get gradually thinner to the top, where more pliability and flexibility is desired.”
Aniela and their team received several prospects from fashion and footwear, but also from automotive and interior. The innovative production process has enormous potential:
“We ourselves do still learn about the potential of our innovation”
, Aniela concludes.

Next up at MYCOTEX

While they are currently setting up a pilot scale with their German partner DESMA, one of the largest automated, robotics company specialized in footwear production, NEFFA has currently opened a funding round. If you want to know more about it, you can contact Aniela directly via her website. Other ongoing projects are the broadening of their material base to not only feature mycelia-based products, but also algae-, collagen- based materials, as NEFFA’s manufacturing process basically works with all slurry-based materials. With their innovative production and material technology, NEFFA and MYCOTEX offer a novel paradigm that helps make the fashion industry more sustainable. Due to their innovative contribution to SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), and SDG 13 (Climate Action), MYCOTEX was also among the finalists of the ISC3 Innovation Challenge 2022.