Materials science company Ambercycle Inc. has raised a total of $27 million in order to develop infrastructure and materials for circularity within the fashion industry.
It has announced the closing of an oversubscribed $21.6 million Series A financing from H&M CO:LAB, KIRKBI, Temasek, BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD, and Zalando.
Environmental and governmental agencies estimate that over 120 billion garments are discarded annually.
Ambercycle was founded in 2015 by Shay Sethi and Moby Ahmed with the goal of building circularity for the fashion industry.
The company’s breakthrough process, Ambercycling™, separates and purifies post-consumer textile waste at the molecular level to produce regenerated materials that brands and designers can craft into new garments. This simultaneously reduces the materials going into landfills as well as the need to extract finite resources from the planet.
The company’s first solution, cycora®, is a breakthrough material that makes use of old garments by regenerating end-of-life textile waste into new fabrics. cycora® serves as a direct replacement to the tens of billions of pounds of polyester used annually, and emulates the functional characteristics of these conventional fabrics while allowing apparel brands and designers to produce high quality garments with circularity in mind.
“The transition to circularity in fashion is inevitable” said Shay Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO of Ambercycle. “We are building an ecosystem in which materials can exist in harmony with humans and the environment. Our breakthrough molecular regeneration process enables a clear vision for circularity, in which fashion can flow in and out of our lives. Not only will this improve the sustainability performance of the items in our closets, but it builds a new way for us to interact with our materials.”
Damir Hamzić, Head of Circular Plastic investments at KIRKBI, says: “In KIRKBI, Circular Plastics is a new thematic investment area where KIRKBI wishes to support the movement towards a world where plastics never become waste. Globally, a significant part of plastic waste generated comes from textiles. In Ambercycle, we see a promising company within textile-to-textile recycling led by a highly dedicated management team and through this investment we want to support the further development of the company’s ambitious plans.”
Over the past few years, the company has proven the technology by building a pilot plant in downtown Los Angeles. With the funds raised the company plans to scale up production of cycora®. The innovative material has already been used in successful collaborations with Los Angeles streetwear brands like Justin Mensinger, select luxury brands, and most recently by industry giant H&M for its 2021 Circular Design Story Collection.
“We are delighted to support Ambercycle with this recent collection and are excited to continue being part of their successful journey. The H&M Group has an ambitious goal of making our business fully circular by 2030 and we truly believe in the team behind Ambercycle with their exceptional dedication to their mission. With this new funding round we look forward to partnering with them as they scale commercially.” said Erik Karlsson, Acting Head of H&M CO:LAB.