Materials

Modern Synthesis Raises $4.1M to Displace Petrochemicals & Plastic Pollution From Fashion Industry

UK biomaterials company Modern Synthesis has raised $4.1 million in its seed funding round. The company will use the funding to accelerate the development of its proprietary microbial textile platform and open a pilot facility in South London.

“we are thrilled to be partnering with a group of investors who share our optimism for a brighter material future”

The funds will help Modern Synthesis achieve its ultimate goal of displacing many conventional animal and petrochemical-derived textiles, thus reducing emissions and plastic pollution from the fashion industry. Investors in the round included Collaborative Fund, AgFunder, and former Jimmy Choo CEO Pierre Denis, among others.

Modern Synthesis’ platform uses microbes to grow high-performance nonwoven materials. The technology, which took almost ten years to develop, relies on the ability of bacteria to turn sugar derived from agricultural waste into nanucellulose.

The company’s co-founder, Jen Keane. © Modern Synthesis

Textiles made with microbes

The use of microbes to create innovative new textiles is growing in popularity. Materials companies Nanollose and von Holzhausen recently signed a collaboration agreement to work on leather alternatives made with microbial cellulose, while Polybion announced in March that it would be scaling up what it claims is the world’s first bacterial cellulose facility. A recent report found that next-gen material investments almost doubled to $980 million in 2021, with microbe-derived fabrics becoming increasingly common.

‘We’ve been truly humbled by the support we’ve received from the fashion community so far,” said Modern Synthesis CEO and co-founder Jen Keane. “And with this latest investment, we are thrilled to be partnering with a group of investors who share our optimism for a brighter material future and bring a wealth of experience from both biotech and fashion sectors to our team.”

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