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Simplifyber aims to eliminate carbon emissions via sustainable fashion, raises $3.5M

Simplifyber-2-founders
Photo Credit: Simplifyber

Simplifyber has presented a new approach to clothing and accessory manufacturing that replaces traditional spinning, weaving, cutting, and sewing with a sustainable, less resource-intensive, and fully biodegradable solution – eliminating 60 percent of the steps and reducing the 35 percent of materials that end up as waste in the fashion supply chain.

Now the New York-based company which creates the fully-molded garment and shoe uppers made directly from a cellulose-based liquid has raised a $3.5M round of seed funding, led by At One Ventures. The funding round also saw participation from Techstars, Heritage Group Ventures, The Helm, W Fund, Jetstream Ventures, Plug & Play Ventures, REFASHIOND Ventures, CapitalX Ventures, Keeler Investments Group and others.

Fund usage

Simplifyber‘s manufacture of everyday wear items such as T-shirts intends to replace wovens and knits, which combined comprise a $25B worldwide market. In addition, the company has worked with HP on a pilot project to develop moulded shoe uppers made from a custom formula derived from natural fibres.

Maria Intscher-Owrang, co-founder and CEO, Simplifyber: “I saw how additive manufacturing (e.g., 3D printing) was disrupting nearly every other industry, but not in fashion. I set out to find the people that could make this a reality. We discovered a way to create clothing using soft plant fibers. We start with a liquid cellulose – made in a lab, not in a mill – which is then poured on specially-designed molds and dried, eliminating fabric waste altogether and allowing on-demand, stock-free service.”

Maria worked as a fashion designer and director for almost 20 years with prestigious fashion brands such as Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Edun.

Laurie Menoud, Partner, At One Ventures: “With its single-step process for clothing making, Simplifyber has the potential to beat the unit economics of polyester, becoming an economically and environmentally viable solution against plastic waste. We’re looking forward to partnering with the team to bring this solution to scale. We believe Simplifyber could be the apparel of the future: They are not only beautifully designed but have a low carbon footprint and are price-accessible, which is a significant differentiation from other sustainable clothing brands.”

Sustainable fashion

Simplifyber, founded by Maria Intscher-Owrang and Philip Cohen in 2020, makes apparels using its soft, cotton-like biodegradable clothing and footwear manufactured by injecting liquid into moulds, eliminating the need for cutting, sewing, or weaving. The cellulose composition used by the company is entirely natural, made from a blend of wood pulp and other plant-based materials, as well as non-toxic additives. The soft, fabric-like shoe uppers of Simplifyber are made from a cellulose-based liquid and are completely biodegradable and recyclable.

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