A new year brings new developments, and while most of the recent headlines haven’t been all too positive, today we’re talking about an inspiring story! As we’ve seen, the race for textile innovation is in full bloom, and AlgiKnit is right at the center of it.
Founded in 2017, Algiknit has spent the last four years working towards massive developments on the technology to create its yarns on a commercial scale. Now, it’s getting ready to open a new facility in North Carolina to do just that.
While studying and working in design, the co-founders of AlgiKnit felt there was a need for eco-materials that could fulfill more eco-conscious production systems, like those part of circular, closed-loop systems of production. Upon realizing such materials didn’t exist or weren’t commercially available, they decided to launch an initiative to produce their own product and fill this market void.
In a growing industry, AlgiKnit’s products distinguish themselves through their compatibility with current systems. They’re developed by taking biopolymers from kelp (a type of seaweed) sourced from existing seaweed processors. This allows them to have their source materials readily available at a commercial scale.
The choice to use kelp came about because of it being one of the most renewable and regenerative organisms on Earth. This allows for a functional and accessible resource that doesn’t impact the environment. The renewable yarns produced are both durable and degradable, creating a viable option for the durability versus degradability of fibers gap in the world of sustainability. AlgiKnit’s product can have multiple uses across the fashion industry, being suitable for garments, accessories and footwear.
Now, with the new year, an innovation hub that’s born in The Research Triangle area of North Carolina is slated to open in early 2022. This space is a new place where the company will be working on pilot projects with brands on a global scale. With headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, this new facility will house AlgiKnit’s R&D, manufacturing, and business development teams under one roof. The company’s hope with this expansion is for it to allow them to scale quickly and help the international fashion industry’s carbon emission rate decrease.
The location of this new hub is a fundamental part in the future AlgiKnit. With a deep history of textile manufacturing, North Carolina and the Research Triangle area brings great benefits to the development of its yarns. Besides this, being close to multiple research and testing facilities allows AlgiKnit to utilize these resources to speed up and maintain its growth, tapping into unparalleled expertise and cutting-edge technology.
“North Carolina’s Research Triangle area is becoming a hub for big tech and life sciences, and we look forward to collaborating with other companies focused on scientific innovation and disruption,” said Aleksandra Gosiewski, co-founder and COO of AlgiKnit. “We’re also excited for the opportunity to tap into the deep and diverse pool of talent and knowledge in the area to strengthen our scientific and engineering divisions.”
This new site follows a $2.4M USD investment the company received earlier in 2021. The financing contributed to the continued technological development of the kelp-based yarn, and now, brings on this exciting new space.
With everything it has accomplished so far, we can’t wait to see what’s to come from AlgiKnit in the coming year.