California-based upcycling start-up, Novoloop, has raised US$11 million in Series A funding to transform plastic waste into performance apparel and footwear products. The financing was led by Envisioning Partners with participation from technology investment firm Valo Ventures and Bemis Associates.
The upcycling plastic waste start-up has also announced a new joint development agreement with clothing bonding expert Bemis Associates, with intentions to use the funds to launch its new performance garment product Oistre into the Bemis product portfolio.
The introduction of Novoloop's Oistre™ technology into the Bemis product portfolio, according to Novoloop, will be the first step toward replacing virgin petroleum-based themoplastic polyurethane.
Oistre has evolved from the company's proprietary ATOD™ (Accelerated Thermal Oxidative Decomposition) process technology, which attempts to break down polyethylene into chemical building blocks that can be synthesized into high-value products.
According to Novoloop, polyethylene is the most extensively used plastic today, but only 9% of it is recycled, and almost none is upcycled. This is why the business developed Oistre, a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that allows plastic waste to be repurposed in high-performance products like footwear and garments, using their ATOD process.
Oistre is said to be the first TPU created from post-consumer polyethylene waste that matches the performance of virgin TPUS made from petrochemicals. Furthermore, Novoloop claims that its carbon footprint is up to 46% lower than traditional TPUS.
Miranda Wang, co-founder and CEO of Novoloop, said that plastics aren't going away anytime soon. They need to innovate to reduce the gap between what is produced and what is recycled. They're delighted to report that after years of technical development, they've received funding from high-caliber investors and partners to commercialize this much-needed technology
Ben Howard, Bemis director of sustainability, said that Novoloop's technology is a big advance for their supply chain. Scaling it up will be a big step toward moving away from virgin petroleum sources and lowering the carbon footprint of their products.
Oistre 65A, a soft grade polyester TPU for injection moulding that is especially ideal for footwear applications, is now being sampled and pre-ordered by Novoloop. It adds that higher durometer grades of Oistre TPU will be available soon.
Jeanny Yao, co-founder and COO of Novoloop, said that they anticipate completing critical pilot scale-ups and commercializing their process technology with this funding, allowing them to make a long-term impact. Their team is excited to be at the forefront of the plastics circular economy revolution.
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