It’s been a month of good news for the innovators around the world paving the way for the roll out of next-generation materials in the fashion industry. Notably, many of the investment rounds and technology breakthroughs highlighted in this month’s news round up are directly tackling scale, often cited as one of the biggest challenges innovators face in replacing the incumbent, fossil-fuel based material production processes. These promising and exciting developments make us confident a more sustainable fashion industry is in sight.
NFW Closes $85 Million USD Series B Funding to Scale First Naturally Circular Materials
Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) recently announced that it has closed an $85 million USD Series B funding round. Founded in 2015, NFW is a material innovation company providing the global fashion and automotive industries with the biomaterials for creating high-performance, all-natural, circular products. NFW engineers and manufactures CLARUS®, a family of high-performance, all-natural textiles; and MIRUM®, a next-generation, zero-plastic complement to leather. The most recent investment round will fund the scaling of the production of both materials, which will be rolled out in partnership with leading global brands such as Alexander McQueen (MCQ), Pangaia, Bellroy, H&M and Camper.
Technology Platform Higg Raises $50M USD Series B to Accelerate Supply Chain Sustainability
Higg, a sustainability insights platform for the consumer goods industry, recently announced the completion of its $50 million USD Series B funding round. Higg is trusted by close to 50,000 major global brands, retailers, and manufacturers in over 100 countries to provide the single source of ESG intelligence they need to accelerate business and industry transformation. Originally built on software for assessment methodologies developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, it enables continuous improvement of supply chain sustainability across not only CO2 emissions and water and energy consumption, but also labor conditions. Recently, Higg has begun to host additional assessments, partnering with the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii) to offer a new carbon management program for manufacturing facilities.
Seattle-based Evrnu, a textile innovator dedicated to creating a circular textile ecosystem, has launched NuCycl r-lyocell – the world’s first high-performance, fully recyclable material made entirely from pre-consumer cotton waste. Evrnu describes this new technology as a “huge breakthrough” for the industry, with the potential to directly replace 90% of common textile materials, including cotton, nylon, and polyester. NuCycl is the first commercial product for Evrnu and will forge a pathway for tens of millions of tons of textile waste to re-enter the value chain each year. It has raised $31 million USD in funding to date and is currently constructing a new facility that will process about 17,000 metric tons of pulp and 2,000 tons of fiber every year.
Fairbrics Raises Over €6.5 million EUR to Develop Carbon-Neutral Fabrics for the Fashion Industry
Fairbrics, a Paris-based startup developing carbon-neutral fabrics for the fashion industry, has raised over €6.5 million EUR in its Pre-Series A funding round. Established in 2019, Fairbrics aims to fight climate change by developing circular manufacturing processes that meet the demands of the global fashion market. The most recent investment will be used to construct a pilot plant capable of manufacturing over 30 tonnes of polyester a year, using the company’s proprietary technology to produce one of the main constituents of polyester, ethylene glycol, from CO2, green hydrogen and renewable energy. H&M Group’s investment arm participated in the funding round and key consumer brand partnerships have been established to incorporate the polyester into marketable fabrics, under the name Airwear.