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Sapro-Tech Announces First Commercial Partnerships

Sapro-Tech, a creator of next generation materials made from mycelium (fungi), has achieved a commercial milestone through its partnerships with four of New Zealand’s leading fashion companies - SABEN, taylor, Velvet Heartbeat & YY NATION.

Early in 2024, Sapro-Tech launched an innovative customer initiative. Our ‘pioneering partners programme’ aims to form strategic partnerships with leading fashion, interior & automotive organisations. Through this collaboration, Sapro-Tech and their partners are committed to finding new ways to create products while addressing the impact of the industry on climate change.

Fashion brands taylor, SABEN, Velvet Heartbeat, and YY NATION have joined as the first cohort of partners in the programme. Each organisation is committed to exploring new and more sustainable practices for sourcing and making materials for their products, and ultimately for their customers. They will be working with the Sapro-Tech team to test, validate, trial and release new products to the market as a result of the partnership.

Founder of Sapro-Tech Dr Keith Hudson commented,

“We are delighted to achieve this significant milestone for Sapro-Tech, and also for the planet. We started Sapro-Tech as we wanted to show others that you can make a difference, and a key part of us proving this is having customers who want to utilise our materials in their own products. We are inspired by the potential that mycelia has, but to see others such as our founding pioneers showing their interest and commitment is so rewarding. We are looking forward to releasing our second generation of materials to the pioneers this year, and already a key milestone date of late 2025 is fast approaching when our partners will be looking to release products made with Sapro-Tech materials.”

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Roanne Jacobson, founder of SABEN, commented

“SABEN has become a pioneer partner with Sapro-Tech as part of our shared and ongoing commitment to innovation and sustainability in the fashion industry. By collaborating with Sapro-Tech, we are leading the way in exploring alternative materials, such as mycelium textiles, that offer groundbreaking potential to reduce environmental impact. Our partnership signifies our dedication to our customers and community to develop and embrace cutting-edge solutions that align with the core SABEN value of care for both people and planet.”

Vicki Taylor, creative director of taylor, commented

“I love to work with emerging innovators and idea makers. This project has led me into a world of new learning and understanding, which I can see such a benefit to the future of our planet. To be partnered with something of this calibre is incredibly exciting.”

Jeremy Bank, founder of YY NATION, commented

“YY Nation and Sapro-Tech values and purpose are strongly aligned. We both desire to make a positive difference to our planet by the invention of incredible natural materials for use in the fashion industry at scale, avoiding the use of harmful plastics. We are both at the forefront of innovation and design powered by the wonder of nature.”

Suzie Eggleton, founder of Velvet Heartbeat commented,

“Having the opportunity to work alongside the creation of an incredible new textile, specifically one being developed in New Zealand is fantastic. I wanted to be able to lend my experience of working with textiles, leather and plant-based leather alternatives, to help bolster the work to build a premium new textile, and bring more sustainable products to my customers.”

Sapro-Tech is based in New Zealand’s home of deep-tech, Outset Ventures in Parnell, Auckland. Sapro-Tech is an alumni company of the Sprout Accelerator programme and received investment from Sprout and global tech investor Our Crowd in 2023.

Sapro-Tech’s founders and shareholders believe that micro-organisms represent a significant efficiency opportunity for the planet, both now and into the future. The next-gen materials market has received over US$3b of investment over the last 10 years including just under US$0.5b in 2023, when most venture funding markets declined. The industry is projected to grow by a CAGR of 37.4% over the next 10 years and is expected to achieve US$2.6b in 2026. Currently, mycelium based materials represent only 8% of this market. Sapro-Tech has developed a unique growing method which has been established to support scale production of its materials over time for its customers.

Sapro-Tech is currently raising a pre-seed investment round, and will also raise a seed round of investment in 2025 to support the establishment of its pilot plant that will produce mycelium based materials for its customers world-wide.

About Sapro-Tech

Sapro-Tech - is on a mission to create a series of next generation, new materials with mycelium (fungi) as their base, with a focus on an alternative to animal based leathers.


SABEN is New Zealand’s leading luxury handbag and accessories brand.

About taylor

taylor fosters individual creativity and experimentation through inspired design. Designing collections proudly from New Zealand that effortlessly integrate into your world and elevate your sense of self.

About Velvet Heartbeat

Ethically produced vegan handbags & accessories handmade in New Zealand from the finest cruelty free and plant based materials.


YY NATION has set out to redefine sustainable shoes using natural materials in a purposeful design, Wonder made Wearable.

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