AlgiKnit, maker of eco-conscious yarns derived mostly from seaweed, has announced the opening of its innovation hub in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. The company will begin pilot projects with global brands from the new space in early 2022.
A 2021 report from the World Economic Forum identified fashion, and its supply chain, as the planet’s third largest polluter — around two-thirds of a garment’s carbon footprint comes from the production of synthetic fibers such as polyester and nylon. These non-renewable fibers are primarily derived from crude oil. In fact, roughly 342 million barrels of oil are used each year in the production of synthetic fibers.
AlgiKnit has spent the last four years developing new technology to produce yarns on a commercial scale to meet the growing demand for carbon-neutral, toxic-free textiles. The company’s new facility will house R&D, manufacturing, and business development teams under one roof and allow the company to scale quickly to help the global fashion industry decrease its carbon emissions.
AlgiKnit’s yarns are derived mostly from kelp, one of the most renewable and regenerative organisms on the planet, and they can be used across the fashion industry to create footwear, accessories, and garments. The yarns are built with function and accessibility to provide a scalable and sustainable alternative for designers, manufacturers and consumers looking for materials with a significantly lower environmental footprint than conventional textiles. “The yarn we’re producing today has the look and feel of the natural fibers consumers are familiar with,” said Aaron Nesser, co-founder and CTO of AlgiKnit.
In expanding beyond its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, AlgiKnit executives saw the Research Triangle as an ideal new location. The area’s rich history of textile manufacturing and the proximity to numerous research and testing facilities will allow the company to accelerate and sustain its growth with access to high level expertise and cutting-edge technology in the area.
“North Carolina’s Research Triangle area is becoming a hub for big tech and life sciences, and we look forward to collaborating with other companies focused on scientific innovation and disruption,” said Aleksandra Gosiewski, co-founder and COO of AlgiKnit.
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