Mark Emalfarb is a big fan of fungus. “There’s a fungus among us,” he says often.

Emalfarb, who grew up working in his family’s landscape stone business, had his first success 30 years ago, importing pumice from the Soviet Union to “stonewash” blue jeans. But the industry was moving away from stones — which clogged washing machines — to enzymes that produced the same effect.

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