Next-generation materials company Polybion, based in Spain and Mexico, announces today that it is to scale up production at its bacterial cellulose facility, which it claims is the first in the world.
At full capacity, the carbon-neutral and solar-powered facility will be able to produce 1.1 million square feet per year of Polybion’s biotextile, Celium®. The material, which is an alternative to leather, is described as “designed with nature and manufactured with biology”.
The news comes after the company raised $4.4 million in a Series A funding round led by Blue Horizon Ventures. Along with expanding its facility, Polybion will use the funding to increase R&D and deploy Celium into consumer goods.
A growing number of companies are working to meet consumer demand for plastic-free plant-based textiles, with the global market for bio-based leather expected to grow at a CAGR of 47.5% through to 2027.
Recently, the FIBRAL Material Alliance was formed to bring together companies working on both traditional and innovative plant-based fibres, while the Material Innovation Initiative (MII) has created a next-gen materials conference for the industry.
“Scaling the production of Celium, a sustainable alternative to animal-based textiles and petroleum-derived synthetics, is a huge step on Polybion’s mission to bring performance and possibility to 21st-century designers and materials engineers,” said Axel Gómez-Ortigoza, co-founder and CEO of Polybion. “We are excited to partner with Blue Horizon, as we share a common vision on accelerating sustainability and the circular economy. In addition, having Blue Horizon as a partner allows us to scale new initiatives to build our brand and network.”