Trekking by Biophilica samples

Treekind © Biophilica

Leather Alternatives

Biophilica and Sappi North America Unveil Treekind: A Sustainable “Leaf Leather” with Authentic Feel

The UK materials company Biophilica and Sappi North America, a producer and supplier of paper, packaging products, and pulp, have joined forces to introduce a new version of the leather alternative made from leaves, Treekind, with a 100% plastic-free coating.  Sappi North America collaborated with Biophilica for two years to successfully apply a technology called textured release paper to Treekind to replace the plastic coating widely used in vegan leather. This product provides Treekind with a high-fidelity, 3D leather grain texture with an authentic, non-plastic-like feel, explains Biophilica.  Mark Hittie, Director of Release Business Strategy at Sappi North America, commented: “Inclusion of plastic-containing coatings has dominated the vegan leather industry, limiting consumers with few fully sustainable choices and a material that often has a plastic-like touch inferior …

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Sway has introduced TPSea, a biopolymer resin made from seaweed and plants to replace plastic pellets in single-use packaging manufacturing.

© SnackTime

Algae, Microalgae & Seaweed

Sway Launches Seaweed Pellets to Replace Single-Use Plastics at Scale, Following $5M Funding Round

California-based Sway, a startup creating biodegradable alternatives to plastic, has introduced Thermoplastic Seaweed (TPSea), a “breakthrough” biopolymer resin made from seaweed and plants to replace plastic pellets in single-use packaging manufacturing.  The launch follows a successful $5 million seed round led by Third Nature Investments. The Helm, Alante Capital, BAM Ventures, Superorganism, and other investors also backed Sway in this round. The funds will help Sway expand its product portfolio and fuel marketing initiatives targeted at the fashion, food, and home goods sectors to accelerate product adoption. “We believe everyday materials should help to replenish the planet from sea to soil. The launch of our thermoplastic seaweed materials, along with an influx of new capital targeted at scaling production, signifies tangible progress toward a more circular …

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UK’s natural materials company Xampla has secured $7 million in a funding round, to expand the production of its biodegradable, plant-based materials.

© Xampla

Packaging

Morro by Xampla Set to Support Brands Away from Single-Use Plastics with $7 Million Investment

British natural materials company Xampla has secured $7 million in a funding round to expand the production of its biodegradable, plant-based materials at lower costs to support brands in moving away from single-use plastic. The funds will also expand the applications of Xampla’s new consumer brand, Morro, into new markets. This capital injection brings Xampla’s total investment to $17.6 million. Amadeus Capital Partners, Horizon Ventures, Cambridge Angels, Cambridge Enterprise, and Martlet Capital reaffirmed their support. Meanwhile, new investor CIECH Ventures, a clean tech backer and part of an international chemical group, also contributed to the round. Alexandra French, Xampla’s recently appointed CEO, commented, “This new funding will support the expansion of our Morro material into new territories and new applications and enable us to make …

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A car interior by Sage Automotive Interiors

© Sage Automotive Interiors

Leather Alternatives

NFW and Sage Automotive Interiors Partner to Revolutionize Cars with Biodegradable Plant-Based Leather

Plant-based material company Natural Fiber Welding (NFW) and automotive interior solutions supplier Sage Automotive Interiors (Sage) have partnered to develop animal and plastic-free materials for car interiors. The strategic partnership aims to manufacture NFW’s plant-based leather MIRUM at scale, offering the automotive industry a recyclable and biodegradable alternative while supporting a circular economy. Sage, an affiliate of the Japanese company Asahi Kasei, is among the leading global suppliers of seat materials, door panel surfaces, and automobile headliners. With a strong presence in the US, China, and Europe, Sage has been expanding its lineup of growth-potential materials, including leather alternatives. Dirk Pieper, chairman of the Sage Automotive Interiors board of directors, commented: “By jointly introducing MIRUM®, a plastic-free, plant-based, and fully circular leather alternative, Asahi Kasei, Sage & …

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Algenesis produces a plastic-like material made from plants and algae that is biodegradable.

© BLUEVIEW

Materials

Algenesis Secures $5M to Produce at Scale Biodegradable Plastic Made From Algae

San Diego-based Algenesis Corporation, the plant-based material science company behind the biodegradable shoe brand BLUEVIEW, announces it has raised $5 million in a seed funding round to expand production and commercialization of Soleic PU, a plastic biomaterial made from plants and algae. Additionally, with the new funds, the company will expand Soleic product lines into breathable and waterproof textiles and phone cases. Soleic PU is currently available in soft foam applications, such as midsoles and insoles for footwear. In previous partnerships with the surfing brands REEF and Artic Form, the company created innovative algae foam blank surfboards.  First Bight Ventures and Circulate Capital led the round, with MIH Capital, Diamond Sports Group, and RhinoShield supporting the biomaterials company. The investment follows a $5 million grant from the US Department …

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Modern Synthesis and GANNI

© Modern Synthesis

Fashion, Design & Beauty

Ex Adidas Designer Unveils Bag Made from Bacteria at London Design Festival

Modern Synthesis, a London-based biotechnology company, has partnered with GANNI, a Danish fashion brand, to reimagine its ‘Bou’ handbag using the company’s bacterial nanocellulose material. Originally crafted from recycled animal leather, the new iteration is part of GANNI’s commitment to eliminate virgin leather from its products by the end of this year, and is being unveiled at the London Design Festival taking place until this Sunday. Founded by ex-Adidas designer Jen Keane and synthetic biologist Dr. Ben Reeve, Modern Synthesis uses a proprietary biotechnology process that transforms sugar derived from agricultural waste into nanocellulose fibers, which the company claims are eight times stronger than steel. The company joins the ranks of other biodegradable textile manufacturers like 3D-printed Simplifyber and banana-based FOReT and Rashki, who are …

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Really Clever biomaterials

© Really Clever

Facts & Figures

Really Clever: Biodegradable Leather Alternatives Made From Mushrooms & Algae

UK-based startup Really Clever is developing fully biodegradable vegan leather made entirely from mushrooms and algae. Really Clever describes itself as a “fungal discovery platform”, examining the characteristics of various types of fungi and matching them to relevant applications. The company claims it can customise every aspect of its leather alternatives and iterate the material in just 72 hours. Despite only having launched this year, Really Clever is already attracting interest from both the fashion industry and investors. The startup closed a pre-seed funding round earlier in the year, with participation from Hoxton Ventures and various angel investors. In the near future, Really Clever plans to raise £7.2 million, which it will use to open a 28,000-square-foot facility. This will allow the brand to begin …

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