“Waste to Wardrobe” Schulich Startup Raises $1.5 Million
There may come a time when the next shirt or pair of gym shorts you buy will be made of food waste. Myra Arshad (BBA ’18) co-founded ALT TEX with her friend, Avneet Ghotra, to help solve fashion’s pollution problem and disrupt the $104 Billion polyester industry.
Short for “alternative textiles”, ALT TEX recently raised $1.5 million CAD during their Schulich Startup pre-seed round led by Garage Capital, Amplify Capital, and other prominent investment firms for their polyester replacement fibre that is durable, decomposable and cost-effective.
A major problem in today’s fashion industry is that most textiles are blended with synthetic and non-renewable fibre polyester, making them unrecyclable and responsible for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions. ALT TEXT’s alternative fibre can be re-engineered from food waste to replace the plastics used in polyester.
“One of the main reasons we chose to focus on polyester is because it is a central culprit to fashion’s carbon footprint,” expressed Arshad. “The industry is growing rapidly and with over 60% of consumers indicating a willingness to pay more for the clothes we wear, our highly scalable technology has the ability to completely replace one of the most polluting textiles we use daily.”
The financing will be used to scale up ALT TEX’s bioplastic fibre production so that by mid-2022, the startup can take that fabric to clothing brands. Such efforts, if successful, promise to divert significant amounts of organic waste from landfills while enabling the fashion industry to be more sustainable