Innovators

From polyester alternatives made from algae, to blockchain technology making the supply chain more transparent – take a look at our network of current and alumni innovators, each working on disruptive solutions within the textile industry.

Innovators in the spotlight

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    Natural Fiber Welding

    Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. (NFW) develops patented technologies based on the sustainable use of plants and natural fibers to create plastic-free, durable goods and textiles. NFW’s supply chains utilise renewable resources, waste feedstocks, and clean, closed-loop chemistries. Founded in 2015 (US).

    • Transparency & Traceability

    Oritain

    Oritain uses forensic science to test the geochemical composition of a material, which is unique to the place it is grown. The detected isotopes and trace elements are interpreted to produce an “Origin Fingerprint” which gives information from where the commodity came from enabling traceability at any point in the supply chain. Founded in 2008 (New Zealand).

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    Ecovative

    Ecovative utilise mycelium and agricultural waste streams to develop Mycoflex: a foam suitable for various footwear and insulation applications. Mycoflex is biodegradable and its production does not include harmful chemistry and reduces reliance on virgin resources. Founded in 2007 (US).

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    Bananatex

    Bananatex creates fabrics made from 100% banana fibre. They cultivate plants of the banana tree family known locally as “”Banana Hemp” or “Abacá” in the Philippines, before processing them into a material offering a viable alternative to synthetic fabric. The fabric is coated with a natural beeswax for a water-resistant finish and can be easily composted. Founded in 2008, (Switzerland)

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    GRINP

    GRINP develops and produces machines using their proprietary atmospheric plasma technology. Their industrial machines can replace traditional pre-treatments such as bleaching. The technology is can be used on any fibre. Founded in 2005, (Italy).

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    Hemptex India Private Limited

    HempTex India is agro-based enterprise which assists farmers in cultivating hemp by providing optimum seeds, best practices and and by training, educating and empowering local farmers, elevates the socio-economic conditions. Founded in 2021 (India).

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    Dyerecycle

    DyeRecycle has developed a technology that enables the reuse and recycling of dyes directly from textile waste for use in the dyeing of new fabrics. A patented solvent is used allowing for reduced chemical, water and energy usage, and the decoloured fabric/fibres can feed into recycling processes allowing new end of use streams. Founded in 2020 (UK).

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    Refiberd

    Refiberd offer an integrated automated sorting and chemical recycling technology to deal with blended post-consumer textile waste. By utilising a combination of spectroscopy, machine learning and image processing for sorting and custom cellulose dissolution for chemical recycling, Refiberd’s technology can reduce material waste to landfill and lower CO2 emissions. Founded in 2020 (US).

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    Modern Synthesis

    Modern Synthesis has developed a high performance petrochemical and latex free bacterial cellulose based composite to replace conventional Polyurethane and conventional leather. Their patent-pending ‘microbial weaving’ process employs bacteria to a cellulose-based composite material that is naturally biodegradable or closed-loop recyclable, with reduced emissions compared to PU leather. Founded in 2019 (UK).

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    Rubi Laboratories

    Rubi turns industrial CO2 emissions into drop-in cellulose pulp for MMC alternatives utilising a cell free, enzyme based direct biochemical process. Through mimicking the process of trees, Rubi’s technology can achieve cradle-to-gate carbon-negativity and produce output for use in existing textile mills. Founded in 2020 (US).

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    Ever Dye

    Ever Dye has developed a novel dyeing process with biobased pigments including a proprietary pretreatment, that allows for dyeing at room temperature on cellulosic yarn and fabric. The process utilises less energy than conventional dyeing and no use of petro-chemicals, and is also faster than traditional methods. Founded in 2021. 

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    Kintra Fibers Inc

    Kintra has developed a biodegradable and recyclable polyester alternative from a novel, properietary version of poly butylene succinate (PBS) derived from renewable feedstocks. The fibres are designed to be digested to CO2 and water within a wastewater facility, and fit recycling schemes or industrial compost at their end of use. Founded in 2018 (US).

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    IDELAM

    IDELAM’s technology enables delamination of multi-material products or waste, such as jackets and footwear, through processes utilising supercritical CO2. The disassembly of such products allows for more effective recycling and reuse of substrates. Founded in 2019 (France).

    • End of Use

    Premirr Plastics

    Premirr Plastics have developed a continuous flow-through (CFT) system to recycle PET materials into a BHET monomer that can then be used to manufacture PET products containing recycled content. The technology enables closed-loop polyester textile recycling, both reducing textile waste and reliance on petroleum-derived virgin PET. Founded in 2015 (US).

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    AN HERBALS

    An Herbals has a patented circular herbal dye extraction, herbal dyeing and bioprocessing technology, that converts waste from the forest, food and ayurvedic medicine industries to dyes that are non-toxic with self-binding, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti odour, UV resistant and mosquito repellent properties for up to 50 washes in all textiles. Founded in 2019 (India).

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    Fermentech Labs

    Fermentech Labs is addressing the disposal of agricultural and forest residues, such as straw, peels and pine needles, through a patented biotechnology using microorganisms. They convert organic waste, otherwise destined for incineration, into industrial enzymes that are used for textile bio-polishing, desizing and bio-scouring and by utilising these sustainable feedstocks, support farmers to have an alternative income stream. Founded in 2017 (India).

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    Gaiacel

    Gaiacel has developed a novel dyeing innovation to make industrial rope and slasher dyeing processes sustainable and cost-effective. Their patented nanocellulose hydrogel along with dye particles sticks to textile surfaces and eliminates the need for multiple dipping, indigo reduction and additional chemicals, making the process less water and energy intensive compared to conventional indigo dyeing. Founded in 2022 (USA).

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    Picvisa

    PICVISA is an innovative technology based company that designs, manufactures and supplies optical sorting and separation equipment to recover and grade textiles and can be fully customised to the clients needs, by its composition and colour. They add value by automating the entire process of sorting using Artificial Intelligence, conveyer belts and robotics to eliminate human error and delay. Founded in 2000 (Spain).

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    Sodhani Biotech

    Sodhani Biotech produces non-toxic chemical free natural dyes and colours from plants, plant waste and microorganisms. They produce 16 natural dye extracts using optimised extraction processes that have resulted in better yields, a wider range of shades, better water solubility and good colour fastness for printing and dyeing applications. Founded in 2018 (India).

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    UKHI Hemp Foundation

    UKHI Hemp Foundation is a farm-to-market company, producing more than five hundred products from hemp, including hemp textiles, papers, bioplastics, composite, food products and medicines. They improve farmer and artisan livelihoods by training them to cultivate hemp and produce fabrics with higher hemp content using improvised fibre extraction processes. Founded in 2019 (India).

    • Transparency & Traceability

    Vaayu

    Vaayu is the world’s first automated carbon-tracking software for retailers, enabling businesses to reduce their footprint by providing accessible, real-time data to drive carbon-reduction at scale. By integrating with point-of-sale systems, such as Shopify, and leveraging proprietary AI and machine learning technology, Vaayu draws insights from production, sales and logistics to deliver a tangible solution in the fight against climate change and a more sustainable future for retail. Founded in 2021 (Germany).

    • Raw Materials

    Newlight Technologies

    Newlight Technologies produces a material derived from PHA called AirCarbon which has various applications as a plastic alternative. AirCarbon can match the performance of a range of oil-based plastics while out-competing on price, thereby creating a market-driven solution to displacing fossil fuels and capturing carbon. Founded in 2003, (US)

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    Alchemie Technology

    Alchemie Technology has developed clean-tech dyeing and finishing processes which are enabled by its unique digital fluid jetting technology. Alchemie’s digital manufacturing solutions for dyeing and finishing deliver reductions in operational costs and environmental impact: reducing wastewater, chemistry and energy consumption. Founded in 2014 (UK).