People are buying more clothes than ever, and wearing them fewer times before discarding. The result is a surge in clothing waste, driven in part by the rise of fast fashion and because most existing textiles aren’t recyclable.
Seattle-based Evrnu wants to help curb this trend. The 5-year-old company this week announced a $9.1 million investment round to help drive growth of its technology that takes discarded consumer apparel waste and converts it into renewable fiber.
Evrnu is working with companies such as Levi’s, Adidas, and Target, licensing its technology — called NuCycl — that converts pre- and post-consumer textile materials into new fibers that are recyclable, with no loss of performance and quality.
“NuCycl technology by Evrnu extends the life cycle of today’s single-use textile fibers by extracting the molecular building blocks of the original fiber in a way that pristine new fibers can be created, again and again,” the company writes on its website. It worked with Adidas to create a limited-run batch of Adidas by Stella McCartney Infinite Hoodies, “the first garment to be made using NuCycle fibers with customized performance features.”
In a blog post, Evrnu CEO and co-founder Stacy Flynn said garment waste has grown to almost 21 million tons per year, up from 12 million just five years ago.
“We started the company with a question: How do we prevent people from throwing their garments away?,” wrote Flynn, an apparel industry vet. “If we could leverage the waste to turn it into new fiber, we could begin to change consumer behavior. Behavior is the hardest to change, but it also makes the most impact.”
Radicle Impact led the Series A round, which included participation from Twynam Investments, Plum Alley Investments, The Mills Fabrica Fund, and Giant Leap Fund. Previous backers include Closed Loop Partners; CYCLEffect Regenerative Ventures; Future Tech Lab; and Magic Hour. Evrnu has raised $11.7 million to date and employs 10 people.
“Evrnu allows the world to extend the life of precious resources of cotton and polyester, as well as the amount of textile waste sent to landfills every year,” Kat Taylor, co-founder of Radicle Impact, said in a statement.
Evrnu participated in Fledge, the Seattle incubator for socially conscious startups. The company also presented on-stage at last year’s GeekWire Summit, during the Inventions We Love segment. You can watch a new batch of startups pitch at this year’s GeekWire Summit, taking place next week, Oct. 7-9 in Seattle.
Source: Geek Wire