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
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).
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).
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).
Matoha specialises in automated sorting solutions through near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. Their technology enables the accurate identification and sorting of materials, contributing to better diversion of textile waste feedstock to the recycling industry. Founded in 2018 (UK).
Virent uses its patented BioForming® technology to create the fuels and chemicals the world needs from a wide range of naturally occurring, renewable resources. Its patented catalytic chemistry converts biobased carbohydrate feedstocks into products molecularly identical to those made from petroleum. Virent’s technology can produce a range of fuel products, including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, as well as chemicals used for plastics, fibres and films. (US)
ZymoChem offers bio-based materials powered by proprietary carbon conserving (C2) microbes that convert renewable feedstocks into high-value materials while radically minimising CO2 loss during the production phase. The efficiencies of their platform unlock superior economics – up to 50% lower cost than incumbents with a higher yield compared to today’s best in class biomanufacturing. (US)
Polybion is growing premium, next-generation materials designed with nature and manufactured with biology. Their first product, Celium™, is a premium alternative to animal-based leather and petroleum-derived synthetics. It is grown by feeding bacteria with agroindustrial fruit waste; the bacteria, in turn, creates cellulose, a natural polymer. (Spain)
Saltyco connects the regeneration of damaged wetlands to the production of healthier materials for the fashion industry. Their next-generation textile BioPuff ®, is a warm, lightweight and biodegradable insulation material made from one of the best plants for wetland regeneration. (UK)
Lamoral commercialises a high-performance, bio-based, fluor-free coating to replace today’s PFAS coatings and improve current C-0 offerings. With a bio-based, PFC- and MEKO-free truly durable water repellent that protects garments and their users from the elements. (Netherlands)
CleanKore’s patented technology modifies the denim dye range to eliminate Potassium Permanganate spray, lower the carbon footprint & improve sustainability throughout the supply chain without increasing cost. (US)
RESPONSIBLE is a global circularity platform powered by advanced proprietary technology. The company is on a mission to scale circularity by offering solutions across the product life cycle and a premium take on reCommerce. (Northern Ireland)
Founded by a team of scientists and engineers, Protein Evolution uses a combination of biology and chemistry to transform waste into high-value products. The company’s goal is to unlock the potential of waste to be a valuable resource, in a bid to help the materials industry transition to a lower-carbon, more circular economy. (US)
Re:lastane focuses on the separation and recycling of polyester and polyester blended fabrics. They have developed a patent pending “Relastane” polyester recycling system, which realises the separation of polyester fibres from cotton, nylon, spandex and other blended fibres. (China)
DePoly’s advanced recycling technology converts unsorted, dirty end-of-life plastics and fibres into virgin-grade raw materials. They focus on items that cannot typically be recycled due to complex blends, dyes, contaminants, etc. Their low-energy process uses simple, green chemicals and operates at room temperature, all without the need to pre-wash, pre-sort, or separate out other materials. (Switzerland)
Ioncell Oy develops patented Ioncell® technology, which transforms cellulosic bio-materials into new, high-performance textile fibres in a sustainable way. Their technology can improve the quality when textile waste is recycled into new fibres, therefore supporting the inevitable transformation to a circular economy in the clothing and textile industry. (Finland)
Satma CE is a web based software that uses blockchain optionally to offer traceability across the waste-to-worth supply chain, including collection, segregation, recycling and processing. (India)
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)
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).