New York based AlgiKnit yesterday announced a fundraise of $2.1 million to turn ocean algae into scaleable bio-yarns, as the global ethical fashion market is posed to reach $8.25 billion by 2023. AlgiKnit creates kelp-derived, biodegradable fibers and yarns to remediate the harmful cycles of fast fashion; kelp is one of the most renewable organisms on the planet, absorbing CO2 and working against global warming and ocean acidification.
This fundraise marks the latest milestone in further accelerating AlgiKnit’s company growth to expedite the next stage of development and ultimately bring them closer to market. Previous investors include SOSV (Perfect Day, GPS Food Group, Jump) and Horizons Ventures (Impossible Foods, Spotify, Zoom).
AlgiKnit’s mission is to produce sustainable fibers and yarns for functional, cost-competitive textiles as a renewable alternative to resource-intensive and highly-polluting fibers such as polyester and nylon. Said to be versatile and scalable, the yarns can be used across the fashion industry, in particular within the fields of footwear, accessories, and garments. Other applications of the fibers could be integrated into packaging and home furnishings.
The fashion industry produces 10% of the world’s carbon emissions, more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined as of 2019, prior to the pandemic. At this pace, the industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50% by 2030.
Making the announcement, co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer Tessa Callaghan said: “It’s not enough to be sustainable, functionality is paramount. We want to be both the easy and sustainable choice for designers, manufacturers and consumers.”
“We see the urgent need for new biomaterials for the fashion industry; consumers, manufacturers, and brands are waiting for REAL solutions. AlgiKnit’s kelp-derived biodegradable yarn, is a truly promising alternative for a better planet ” said Wayne Cheng from Horizons Ventures.