NEW YORK, July 6, 2022 — Simplifyber, Inc. announced the closing of a $3.5M round of seed funding, led by At One Ventures, with participation from Techstars, Heritage Group Ventures, The Helm, W Fund, Jetstream Ventures, Plug & Play Ventures, REFASHIOND Ventures, CapitalX Ventures, Keeler Investments Group and others. Led by fashion designer Maria Intscher-Owrang, company will leverage its additive manufacturing technology to bring economically competitive, sustainable garments to market.
The company has developed a novel approach to clothing and accessory manufacturing that removes traditional spinning, weaving, cutting, and sewing and replaces it with a sustainable, less resource-intensive process, and fully biodegradable solution – cutting out 60% of the steps and reducing the 35% of materials in the fashion supply chain that ends up as waste.
“I saw how additive manufacturing (e.g., 3D printing) was disrupting nearly every other industry, but not in fashion. I set out to find the people that could make this a reality,” remarked Simplifyber co-founder and CEO Maria Intscher-Owrang, who led a 20+ year career as a fashion designer and director at leading fashion houses, including Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Edun.
“We discovered a way to create clothing using soft plant fibers,” she explained. “We start with a liquid cellulose – made in a lab, not in a mill – which is then poured on specially-designed molds and dried, eliminating fabric waste altogether and allowing on-demand, stock-free service.”
Simplifyber’s cellulose formula is 100% natural, derived from a combination of wood pulp and other plant-based material and non-toxic additives, so the result is a fully biodegradable product that can be easily returned to nature, recyclable as paper and as clothing.
“With its single-step process for clothing making, Simplifyber has the potential to beat the unit economics of polyester, becoming an economically and environmentally viable solution against plastic waste,” said Laurie Menoud, Partner, At One Ventures. “We’re looking forward to partnering with the team to bring this solution to scale. We believe Simplifyber could be the apparel of the future: They are not only beautifully designed but have a low carbon footprint and are price-accessible, which is a significant differentiation from other sustainable clothing brands.”
With its manufacturing of daily wear items such as T-shirts, Simplifyber aims to replace wovens and knits, which together represent a $25B market globally. Additionally, the company has collaborated on a pilot with HP to create molded shoe uppers, also from a custom formula derived from natural fibers.