Evrnu: Turning Unwanted Clothes Into New Fibre

It was the moment she got out of the car on a business trip to apparel manufacturers in China that Stacy Flynn realised something had to change in the fashion industry. So thick was the air pollution that Flynn, now the CEO of textile technology startup Evrnu, couldn’t see her colleague just a few feet away. 

That experience – and her subsequent travels around China witnessing the environmental impact of textile production – prompted Flynn to found Evrnu in Seattle in 2014. Since then, Flynn and chief scientific officer Christo Stanev have been refining the technology to turn old garments into new fibres.

Levi's

Evrnu’s pioneering work got a huge boost in May 2016 from Levi Strauss & Co., who partnered with them to produce a jean prototype from regenerated post-consumer cotton waste. The Levi’s 511 prototype was created from around five discarded cotton t-shirts and used 98 per cent less water than virgin cotton products, according to Evrnu. 

That partnership, with an iconic American brand, has enabled Evrnu to prove their concept – that old garments can be turned into ‘pristine new fibre’ using their patented technology. 

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New fibre from old

The process consists of taking cotton garment waste, purifying and then pulping it. That pulp is extruded into a new fibre described by Flynn as ‘finer denier than silk and stronger than cotton’.  

‘This is a game changer,’ Flynn says. ‘It takes what we perceive as waste and turns it into a modern-day resource.’

Evrnu’s goal is to use no virgin product in creating the new fibre so that every aspect is renewable. (A small proportion of the fibre in the 511 jeans was virgin cotton.) 

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Your next supply partner?

As well as further developing their technology, Evrnu has offered customised fibres for early adopter brand partners to use in their products; mill partnerships for existing fibre producers; and the opportunity to licence technology to supply chain partners.

Connect with Evrnu

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Report is originally from Common Objective