An innovative biotechnology company working on polyester textile recycling with genetically engineered microbes - Celebrate @ E2Expo
Ambercycle uses genetically engineered microbes to digest waste polyester textiles and transform them into material that can be used as new fibers. The company has developed the proof of concept for its biological process and has started to test different waste fabrics to determine efficacy of the process.
The technology helps in protecting marine environment from microplastics of waste polyester textiles. It also helps textile waste management companies efficiently manage the waste through alternative methods such as recycling while also significantly reducing the need for fossil fuels to manufacture new textiles.
The company was founded by Akshay Sethi and Moby Ahmed, chemists at UC Davis University, who made a breakthrough discovery that allows new garments to be made entirely from used textiles, eliminating the use of new natural resources. They founded Ambercycle in 2015 to commercialize the technology that enables molecular separation of different fibers, such as cotton and polyester so that they can be spun into new yarns.
The process involves collecting waste textiles from textile waste management companies, converting them to polyester pellets, spinning the pellets into yarn and supplying them to apparel manufacturing companies.
The company has won Launch2020 award as the top fabric innovator. It has also connected to major industry players and secured an investment of half a million dollars. It has also received grants from the Lemelson Foundation, the Schmidt Family Foundation, and Y combinator to develop its R&D.