Simplifyber, Inc, the cleantech producer of footwear and clothing “created in a lab, not in a factory”, has announced the closing of a $3.5M round of seed funding led by At One Ventures.
The company develops moldable garments and shoe upper from the cellulose-based liquid in a technique that the business claims is sustainable and less resource-intensive, delivering a biodegradable solution that eliminates waste.
Its co-founder and CEO, Maria Intscher-Owrang, who has previously worked as a designer and director at a variety of fashion houses including Vera Wang and Calvin Klein, said the idea for the company came to her when she noticed how additive manufacturing was being used in a variety of industries but not fashion.
Simplifyber co-founder and CEO, Maria Intscher-Owrang, said that they discovered a technique to make garments out of soft plant fibers. They begin with a liquid cellulose - created in a lab, not a mill - which is then poured over precisely engineered moulds and dried, eliminating all fabric waste and providing on-demand, stock-free service.
The additional financing will be used to further scale the solution and introduce its production capabilities to more garment businesses.
Simplifyber's cellulose recipe is entirely natural, created from a blend of wood pulp and other plant-based materials, as well as non-toxic additives, resulting in a totally biodegradable product that can be readily returned to nature, as well as recyclable as paper and clothes.
Laurie Menoud, Partner, At One Ventures, said that with its single-step method for apparel manufacturing, Simplifyber has the potential to outperform polyester unit economics, making it an economically and environmentally feasible alternative to plastic waste. They’re excited to work with the team to bring this solution to scale. They feel Simplifyber might be the clothes of the future: they are not only wonderfully designed, but they also have a minimal carbon impact and are affordable, which distinguishes them from other sustainable clothing manufacturers.
Simplifyber's manufacture of everyday wear goods such as T-shirts intends to replace wovens and knits, which combined comprise a $25 billion worldwide industry. Furthermore, the business has partnered on a pilot with HP to make molded shoe uppers, also from a custom formula derived from natural fibers.
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