Alt Tex, a short form of ‘Alternative Textile’, is a sustainable biotech-based fashion startup is on road to derange the ringleader of environment pollution, polyester industry. Recently they have closed a pre seed round raising $1.5 million (US) in order to pace up the circular fast fashion and replace it against the polymer.
The Canadian company started its journey in 2019 and raised $200,000 by non-dilutive sources before the round, which totals up the fund to $1.7 million. The co-founders Myra Arshad and Avneet Ghotra, who have a business and an environmental science and biochemistry background respectively, aim to provide a biodegradable and carbon-neutral alternative of micro-plastics to the fabrics market.
They have targeted the two major polluters, food and plastic wastes to be re-engineered through novel biopolymer technology and to create polyester-like fabric, which is highly performing than the polyester itself. If a shirt is made from this fiber, it can replace 1 kg of food waste from landfills, can avoid 9 kgs of carbon emission, and can also prevent 4 kg of micro-plastic pollution. This bio revolutionary project is named “waste-to-wardrobe technology” and the entrepreneurs have already won prizes for sustainability innovation like this.
Hopefully, fashion bigwigs are getting more and more aware of the circular genre with the eye to scale up the causes of contamination of the natural world. Adidas, Lululemon, Kering and Stella McCartney have partnered with Bolt Threads and have planned to sell biomaterial products this year.
Myra Arshad said, “The industry is growing rapidly and with over 60 percent of consumers indicating a willingness to pay more for the clothes we wear, our highly scalable technology has the ability to completely replace one of the most polluting textiles we use daily.”
Biotechnology is gaining popularity with many startups like Alt Tex. The new venture has been backed up by The NEXT 36, Creative Destruction Lab, Centre for Social Innovation, Schulich Startups and University of Toronto Entrepreneurship. They are now looking forward to growing globally and pulling in the gap between the $104 billion polyester and biotech industry.
Arshad has positively addressed this support by saying, “Having support from organizations that offer a platform, mentorship and funds is the reason ALT TEX has been able to get this far–it’s incredible how this ecosystem comes together to support entrepreneurs.”
She has also mentioned the idea’s origin in her statements, “This industry has always been close to me given my family’s background in this space, but the level of customer, investor and general stakeholder interest we have received really validates that the environmental and ethical problems are also becoming personal to the general population.”
The half and a million-dollar investment is going to steer up the research and development process of Alt Tex and to grow their team.