Sustainability Innovation Prize is won by the "Waste-wardrobe" startup. A company coming with the motto of replacing polyester with a sustainable alternative for the fashion industry has managed to secure the first position for the Adams Sustainability Innovation Prize at the University of Toronto.
ALT TEX, founded by Avneet Ghotra and other alumni, won the prize of $10,000 for creating bio-plastic fiber from food waste. It was an open forum for postdoctoral researchers or graduate students to pitch their startup ideas. Another co-founder of ALT TEX, Myra Arshad, a graduate of Schulich School of Business at York University, put lights on the alarming rate of pollution that the fashion industry is responsible for. While there has been an awareness created for sustainable fashion, so the startup is aimed to fill that important void between the idea and reality. Companies are trying to improve their models by drifting towards sustainable fashion but it is very difficult to find the right alternatives which are easily accessible and affordable to replace polyester as said by Arshad. She further adds that they are trying to find a solution by developing a sustainable polyester replacement through their "Waste- Wardrobe" project.
They created bio-plastic as a substitute for polyester by chemically treating the food waste which is the primary contributor of the whole garbage. Food waste is being converted into bio-plastic fiber that mimics the appearance and feel of polyester but is decomposable. A single shirt made from this fiber can replace 1 kg of food waste from landfills, can avoid 9 kgs of carbon emission and will also prevent 4 kg of micro-plastic pollution. There is just so much going on, a lot of ideas, behind the walls of the University of Toronto which should be celebrated through such a platform, says John Robinson, one of the judges of the pitch. Also, 3 other students were granted $5,000 for innovative sustainable ideas to practice on campuses, inculcating the sustainability content in their projects and courses.
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