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Textile Design Studio Raises $18M

Textile innovation studio Byborre has raised 16.9 million euros ($18.3 million) in a Series B round as the company aims to expand its tech worldwide and widen its network of industry partners.

The round was led by Invest-NL and VP Capital, along with existing investors Shift Invest and Amsterdams Klimaat en Energiefonds (AKEF).

The investment will accelerate the Amsterdam company’s international growth in key markets such as the U.S., Europe’s Nordic countries and Italy. Byborre continues to invest in the development of its two technology platforms—textile design tool Byborre Create and ready-to-order library Byborre Textiles.

“We challenge the old, while delivering solutions for the new,” said Borre Akkersdijk, co-founder and creative director of ByBorre. “The demand for textiles keeps growing, and so the need for a textile design and development solution that matches commercial feasibility, positive impact and creativity is ever more pressing. That’s why we’re here to stay.” 

Founded by Akkersdijk and Arnoud Haverlag in 2015, Byborre seeks to combine technology and textile expertise to encourage responsible material innovation and textile design, while making its transparent supply chain available to all clients.

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According to a company statement, Akkersdijk and Haverlag want to equip an entire generation of creators to make better and more responsible textiles for everyday products. Together with an international team of more than 50 specialists, they continue to make responsible textiles more accessible through material innovation, digital design services and on-demand production.

Their funding comes amid the arrival of European legislative standards and incentives like the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which shifts more environmental responsibility to both garment producers and brands alike.

Byborre has invested in areas including automation, material research and data analytics in an effort to increase efficiency, productivity and transparency throughout the textile supply chain. The company’s advanced software digitizes the entire design- and production process, effectively creating a “What You See is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) experience, the company says.

Within Byborre’s Create service and Textiles library, the textile innovator offers detailed insights on the reduction of the environmental impact and emissions saved in all the life cycle stages in a user-friendly and interactive way. This “textile passport” includes information on material origin, composition and recyclability.

Byborre requires recyclable materials for both its inputs and outputs, which the company realizes by screening the material’s origins and holding the suppliers accountable. Circular principles are also held up throughout the supply chain to reduce waste and pollution, the firm says, starting at highly reduced sampling and production minimums, and localized production to save time and reduce the impact of transportation.

The design tool, Create, gives users the creative freedom to design a complex 3D knitted fabric, but is built to eliminate the need for otherwise necessary technical and material expertise or knowledge of the advanced stitching techniques and complicated machinery. Within Create, designers can apply their custom artwork and integrate their brand’s DNA to create a unique textile.

The most recent data through the end of last year says Create has worked with more than 1,000 users and 300 brands worldwide including office and home furnishings brand Herman Miller, Italian furniture company Natuzzi, skating apparel label Palace Skateboards and luggage and accessories company Porter Yoshida & Co.

The textile packages offered by Byborre use responsible materials, with about 50 percent of the packages being mono-material, meaning that the textile composition consists of just a single raw material to substantially increase recyclability.

These textiles are included in the ready-to-order library. Introduced in 2022, Textiles is a growing library offering traceable materials that are suitable for a wide range of end-use cases, allowing professionals from apparel to interior, architecture and project development to work with Byborre’s textiles immediately. The quality is primarily driven by materials that support longevity, made with Byborre’s signature circular knitting techniques and curated stock of certified yarns.

Both the Create and Textiles services operate hand in hand. Users can browse and buy samples curated textiles on the site and receive them within two weeks of ordering. They can order samples of 5, 10 or 15 meters long, and can ask for price quotes for bulk production. It typically takes six to 12 weeks to go from sample to full production, Byborre says. All textile listings have product details highlighting the material composition, dimensions and weight, as well as a description, their top performance characteristics and recommended use.

Compositions can range from recycled and zero-microplastic synthetics to natural fibers such as merino wool or organic cotton. Weights range from 150 to 1000 grams per square meter (GSM).

Byborre says it provide additional services beyond the Create and Textiles services for brands that it performs R&D with, including yarn testing and garment creation, using its in-house ecosystem. The company also includes the Window of Textile Opportunities (WoTO) showroom, representing a transparent ecosystem of supply chain stakeholders and industry changemakers, and housing permanent exhibitions of some of its partners.

WoTO partners include The Woolmark Company, circular knitting machine provider Mayer & Cie, Sorona, Avery Dennison, yarn innovator Indorama and educational institutes such as Parsons School of Design, Fashion Institute of Technology and Amsterdam University of Applied Science.

A group of Dutch angel investors also contributed to the Series B, including entrepreneurs Charlie MacGregor, founder of hospitality brand The Social Hub; Henk Jan Beltman, co-founder of confectionary brand Tony Chocolonely; Patrick Munsters, creative director and co-founder of Scotch & Soda; Bram de Zwart & Brian Garret, co-founders for on-demand manufacturing company Hubs, Joris Pol, executive producer at marketing and advertising firm MediaMonks and Geert-Jan Smits, founder and CEO at home furnishing brand Flinders.

Dutch bank Rabobank provided ByBorre with an undisclosed long-term debt and a machine lease facility.