Emerging players in the denim sector are among the 13 startups to join Fashion For Good’s Accelerator Program.
The Amsterdam-based sustainable fashion initiative held its Selection Day last week, naming U.S.-based startup Tinctorium that produces natural indigo dyes free of impurities; Recycrom, a dyestuffs range made using textiles waste by Italian chemical company Officina +39; and U.K.-based Oritain, a company that uses criminal forensic science to add a traceability component to fibers, to its seventh class of innovators.
For more than two years, Fashion For Good’s Accelerator Program has worked with innovators to turn their ideas into reality. Participants in the accelerator receive tailor-made mentoring, personal guidance on impact assessments, funding support and market validation from program partners like C&A, Bestseller and PVH Corp. to catalyze the implementation of their innovations at scale. The program will run for nine months.
“Despite changing circumstances, our important work for innovation continues,” said Katrin Ley, Fashion For Good managing director. “As such, we are excited to welcome 13 innovators into our program, representing the most disruptive solutions in the areas of raw materials and wet processing.”
Other startups selected for the program include U.S.-based company Bear Fiber, a fiber production platform that spins cotton and hemp while using minimal water and energy; Dryfiber, which developed a PFC-free textile finishing process that provides a water and oil repellent finish; Full Cycle Bioplastics, which produced a technology that turns waste from food and agricultural byproducts into biodegradable Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) bioplastics; Galy, which engineers cotton in a lab to lessen the burden of traditional cotton farming; and NREL, a startup that uses microalgae as a feedstock to develop polyurethane for carbon capture, reuse and sequestration.
From the U.K. are startups Econic, which has crafted a process for turning waste CO2 into polyols, replacing up to 50 percent of traditional oil-based feedstocks; and HydroCotton, which grows cotton using minimal water and fertilizer and without any insecticides. The process reduces water and fertilization usage by 80 percent.
Other startups include Singapore-based NTX Cooltrans, which invented an environmentally friendly dye system, French startup Fairbrics which uses waste CO2 to create ethylene glycol, a component of polyester; and Swedish startup Imogo, a company that has developed a Flex Dyer with a spray application unit that uses significantly less water, chemistry and energy throughout the textile dyeing and finishing processes.
Though Selection Day is typically an education and networking event held at Fashion For Good’s headquarters, the organization opted for a digital experience this year to reduce participants’ exposure risk to COVID-19. The virtual event included workshops, panels and open discussions.
“In this challenging time, our important work goes on,” Ley added.