ALT TEX to convert food waste into wearable textiles

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2020-10-16 13:36:24 – Canada

The future of fashion highly depends on the use of biodegradable and carbon-neutral materials. In 2018, Avneet Ghotra put the notion of converting organic food into apparel to the test.  She is an Environmental science and biochemistry specialist who co-founded a startup called ALT TEX. The company has received a grant of $30,000 from the Lo Family Social Venture Fund.

Ghotra stated that they were in a space that involved intensive research and development hence required heavy investment. She added that the core problem in today’s fashion industry was that most textiles are blended with synthetic and non-renewable polyester, rendering and non-recyclable.  

PLA is made out of corn stock however, the company did not want to compete with a crop that is utilized for human and alternative fuel.  She noted that there was no need to grow more corn when there is an abundance of post-industrial food waste. She stated that this could easily be obtained from producers and reptiles, and contained the same biological building blocks for producing PLA.

The company has been experimenting with discarded apples to create a PLA-based fabric that is strong, durable, decomposed and cost-effective. They are keen to build partners with farmers and juiceries to access their waste. If the efforts pay off, the deviation of waste that emits greenhouse gas methane from landfills will enable the fashion industry to become sustainable. 

ALT TEX is among the three ICUBE-affiliated companies that have received the grant from the Lo Family Social Venture Fund. The fund champions of the U of T students or recent graduates have the potential to have a global impact.

The company stated that ICUBE has been a huge catalyst in terms of helping us understand the areas of our business that need attention, installing confidence in our idea, helping them understand the patent process and how to access investment.

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