jicnet On a mission to bring more environmentally conscious materials to the highly polluting fashion and textile industries. The startup is developing materials from seaweed such as Macrocystis pyrifera, one of the most regenerative and regenerative organisms on the planet, producing filaments and fibers that do not depend on petroleum or toxic chemicals.
Alex JosiewskiAnd the Harun Nasser And the Tessa Callahan She found the materials used in the textile industry to be incredibly harmful to the environment and eventually found it difficult to reconcile them after working in costumes in different capacities. This raised the question: Is there a way to design better products and more sustainable materials themselves? Thus, the trio founded AlgiKnit in 2017.
“Giant kelp does not depend on harmful fertilizers and pesticides to grow, does not require the use of arable land or fresh water and efficient carbon dioxide sequestration.2 From the ocean,” AlgiKnit CEO and co-founder Tessa Callahan told TechCrunch.
Today, AlgiKnit said it has raised $13 million in Series A led by Collaborative Fund, with participation from H&M CO: LAB (the investment arm of H&M Group), Starlight Ventures, Third Nature Ventures, as well as previous backers Horizons Ventures and SOSV.
The startup says its goal is to provide designers and brands with the tools and materials needed to create a sustainable future for people and the planet.
The company mainly focuses on B2B sales and relationships. In general, fibers and yarns including AlgiKnit can be used in many applications and form factors such as knitted and woven goods, according to Callaghan. Callahan added that the uses of his materials can include clothing, interiors, upholstery and automobiles.
“Sustainability is no longer a luxury; it has become a requirement,” Callahan said. “We hear these sentiments expressed by brands across a wide range of industries, and they speak to the scale of the impact we need to make.”
With the latest funding, AlgiKnit will accelerate to expand its production capabilities and bring its materials to the world. Additionally, the startup plans to increase its existing team of 20 people, and is actively recruiting 10 new positions at its North Carolina headquarters. The funding will also help AlgiKnit invest in its manufacturing and research and development divisions.
The textile industry is responsible for up to 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide2 Emissions – in addition to being highly polluting and consuming large amounts of water,” co-fund partner Sophie Bakalar said in a statement. “We are thrilled to lead the first round of the AlgiKnit Series and to invest in technology that is propelling the world toward a more sustainable future.”
In June, the company opened its new manufacturing facility in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. AlgiKnit says it sought to reduce the construction footprint by outfitting the 15,000-square-foot expansion with recycled materials and second-hand furniture.
“The building process was based on creating a vibrant and innovative work environment without compromising our commitment to the planet,” said AlgiKnit co-founder and COO Aleksandra Gosiewski, who led the company’s expansion into North Carolina. “From using the existing space that meets our specifications to reusing and reusing as much as possible, sustainability has always been of the utmost importance to us.”
“With the opening of our new facility in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, we are focused on expanding our production capabilities, our partnerships, and our team to meet global demand more quickly,” Callahan said. “This is a huge next step in applying this technology on a large scale and making a positive and tangible change for the planet.”
AlgiKnit has raised a total of $17.9 million to date.