GAVIN MCINTYRE AND EBEN BAYER, ECOVATIVE'S CO-FOUNDERS
It’s all about the FUNGI Ecovative creates mycelium resin that it says is safer and can be cheaper than formaldehyde-based products. B Y
S C O T T
ustomer demand and government regulation are driving the pursuit of innovative resins that reduce the level of formaldehyde and other potentially toxic materials in engineered wood. Believe it or not, the solution for mill owners and the manufacturers they supply may be found in mushrooms. Ecovative, a New York-based biomaterials company that creates environmentally friendly products to compete with conventional plastic and resin materials, is marketing a natural resin it believes will significantly change the composite panel industry for the better. Ecovative’s formula involves using mycelium from fungi to create the resin that binds the fiber to make engineered wood product they call MycoBoard. The company is producing and selling particleboard and is working on versions of medium-density and high-density fiberboard. The best part? It's all natural, with no added formaldehyde. With the health concerns and negative publicity surrounding formaldehyde, Ecovative’s owners believe producers and consumers will welcome their products.
A N G U S
They know going green is good business, but it is not enough. They must compete from quality and cost standpoints, as well. So far, they like what they see. “We’re looking at performance, health and cost,” said Gavin McIntyre, one of Ecovative’s two founders. “It’s not just about being green. We believe our other values will allow us to compete.”