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Press Resources

Press Release: Fibe Accelerates Sustainable Fashion Possibilities with Investment Funding and Potato Yarn Breakthrough

London, April 18, 2024 — Fibe, a London-based material science company, has developed the world’s first textile fibre from potato harvest waste, garnering the attention of investors and industry experts alike. Today, Fibe announces the completion of their first investment round and a breakthrough milestone in creating a yarn from their proprietary fibres.

Introducing Fibe: The Future of Natural Fibres

Potato Waste Transformed into Textiles

Fibe was founded to create the world’s most scalable, affordable and sustainable textile fibres by leveraging agricultural waste streams. These guiding principles have made extracting fibres from potato crop waste the obvious choice. The leftover stems and leaves of the potato are the world’s largest untapped agricultural feedstock. Currently pulverised and incinerated, this unusable organic material cannot be fed to livestock or turned into quality fertiliser. As such, 150 million tonnes of waste gets left to rot with no economic value to the farmer or the circular economy. With Fibe’s patent-pending technology, it could be used to replace up to 70% of the world’s natural fibre demand. 

In addition to its vast availability, Fibe’s potato-based fibres display unique properties likening them to conventional fibres such as cotton and polyester. As an indicator of the material’s softness, the fibres have a similar diameter to cotton, outperforming bast fibres such as hemp and linen. This allows them to be used in a variety of applications from a heavy canvas to a light breathable shirt. The fibre’s strength is also on par with common natural fibres. 

“We are aiming to create an alternative that looks like conventional fibres, feels like conventional fibres and would one day cost the same as these fibres, all with substantial environmental saving and promoting staple food production” says Idan Gal-Shohet, CEO & Co-founder of Fibe. 

Environmental & Social Impact Matters

As the world’s demand for textiles continues to grow, we must find less resource-intensive raw materials. Cotton, polyester, and other commonly used materials consume vast amounts of water and contribute to resource depletion. In fact, fibre extraction and preparation make up 24% of the apparel industry's emissions. Fibe aims to disrupt this stage by offering a climate-friendly, scalable, alternative fibre that integrates directly with the current spinning and weaving infrastructure. 

Through leveraging proprietary fibre extraction technology and waste-stream feedstocks, Fibe has created a material with the potential to use 99.7% less water, 82% fewer carbon emissions and no land compared to cotton. 

Once commercialised, Fibe aims to compensate farmers for this waste, making potato farming more profitable for farmers and encouraging sustainable agricultural practices.  By collecting directly from farmers, Fibe is developing a highly transparent supply chain that can trace each fibre to the exact farm it was collected from. 

The Technology

Fibe is developing a portfolio of technologies that allow for more efficient extraction of fibres. The company’s novel patent-pending biological process extracts fibres from agricultural waste with no harsh chemicals, minimal steps and is highly tunable to each brand’s requirements. The technology has been designed as an end-to-end automated production line to achieve the company’s scalability and price targets. 

“By working with a crop that has never been used for textiles let alone valorised, we were forced to rethink from the ground up conventional processes. This has pushed us to create a far more efficient system that requires fewer steps and produces higher quality fibres” says David Prior Hope, CTO & Co-founder of Fibe. “The benefit of this is this same process can now be used on other fibrous waste streams and even improves hemp and linen extraction.” 

Investment Funding Fuels Fibe’s Vision

After being awarded multiple Innovate UK grants totalling £785K, Fibe has successfully closed its £1M pre-seed investment round. Tin Shed Ventures, Patagonia’s corporate venture arm, led the round with participation from Alante Capital, PDS Ventures, First Imagine! and multiple angel investors. The raise is a testament to the industry’s belief in the company’s vision and its ability to deliver a true mass-scale replacement to the industry’s conventional fibres. 

“With this funding, we will focus on scaling up our process so that we have all the necessary technical and commercial validation to bring a competitive fibre to the market in the coming years” says Idan Gal-Shohet, co-founder and CEO of Fibe.

McKenzie Smith of Tin Shed Ventures states “Fibe’s innovation not only avoids emissions from a waste stream with no viable alternatives, but is also poised to produce high quality, lower footprint fibers to help drive the apparel industry’s climate transition. We’ve been very impressed with Fibe’s early technical progress and are excited to provide not just investment but also leverage our internal material innovation and commercialization expertise to help accelerate Fibe’s path to market.”


Yarn Breakthrough: The World’s First Potato Waste Yarn

In a recent milestone, Fibe’s team of engineers and biochemists has successfully created the world’s first yarn from potato harvest waste. Manufactured using common textile spinning machinery, it validates the performance and suitability of the fibres for mass production. 

The ability to manufacture yarns is a major step towards commercialising a garment and producing test samples for partners. Fibe is inviting brands, manufacturers, biochemists and engineers to join them at this inflexion point. 

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