Ecovative was founded in 2007 by two Rensselaer Graduates, Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre. Eben and Gavin were fascinated by mushrooms growing on wood chips, and observing how the fungal mycelium strongly bonded the wood chips together. This inspired them to think of new ways of using mycelium as a resin. In a class at Rensselaer, called Inventor’s Studio, they applied this new process for binding together insulating particles, creating sustainable rigid board insulation. Rather than just decreasing the environmental impact of conventional polystyrene foams, this invention creates a whole new paradigm where composite materials are literally grown, harnessing the incredible efficiency of nature.
Shortly after founding the company, they won small grants from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA). This funding was used to create initial samples of the material. This proof of concept enabled the company to win bigger grants from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to further develop the products. Since then, Ecovative has won many more awards and grants that have enabled the company to continue to grow and accelerate toward production of these revolutionary eco-friendly materials.
Ecovative launched its first protective packaging in June 2010 as a product for Steelcase ready to assemble office furniture. With a longstanding history of serious environmental initiatives, Steelcase and Ecovative’s collaboration offered a perfect fit. Since the first offering as “EcoCradle”, Ecovative has provided packaging solutions to a vast portfolio of other customers, including multiple other Fortune 500 businesses. In early 2012, Ecovative began a partnership with Sealed Air to license “Restore™ Mushroom Packaging”.
Alongside Sealed Air, we’re delivering Restore™ Mushroom® Packaging solutions for some well known brands. Since launching the product, we’ve developed many new blends utilizing different regional agricultural byproducts to achieve a wide range of densities, cushioning characteristics and aesthetics. This isn’t just some wacky science project you read about in the news; this is a very real world changing technology. Let us know how we can grow the future of your packaging.