LOS ANGELES – The Textile Innovation Fund acquired a majority stake in Los Angeles based Nature Coatings Inc. The cleantech company transforms wood waste into high performing black pigments.
With the investment Nature Coatings will further improve their eco-friendly manufacturing process. A closed-loop and a circular system, with wood waste sourced from sustainable FSC certified forests. . No external energy is required to run the equipment. The process does not emit any CO2 or other greenhouse gases. Nature Coatings’ pigments are designed for industry. They are cost competitive and easy to use with existing equipment and water based formulas that do not require any upfront capital expenditure.
Nature Coatings was founded by Jane Palmer in 2017. Palmer has worked with pigments and dyes in the apparel industry for over 15 years. She opened Noon Design Studio, the first dye house in the United States to specialize in using plant-based dyes, in 2010. After recognizing the demand and interest in plant-based dyes, but also understanding their limitations such as poor colorfastness, higher cost, excessive use of water and inconsistent results, she turned her focus to developing modern and sustainable high performing bio-based pigments.
Since the company’s founding in 2017, the Nature Coatings team has successfully developed a new black pigment for mass markets. Nature Coatings has received two prestigious National Science Foundation Awards, participated in Fashion for Good’s Accelerator Program, is currently participating in Fashion for Good’s Scaling Program, and is a portfolio company at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator.
Textile Innovation Fund stands for innovation in textile business: from fibre to bits, and from strings to sensors. The fund is managed by BB Capital Investments from The Hague and provides growth capital, network and expertise for scale up companies in a various range of textile industries.
Textile Innovation Fund (Netherlands), Social Impact Ventures (Netherlands) and Bestbase Group (China) invest 3 million euros and their active involvement in We aRe SpinDye®. The Swedish fashion-tech company developed a sustainable coloring method for synthetic textiles, drastically reducing the massive negative environmental impact involved in the traditional dyeing process.
The global textile industry is accountable for significant negative environmental impact; water waste, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the dyeing process are among the most disturbing. The Swedish fashion-tech company We aRe SpinDye® has developed a sustainable coloring method for synthetic textiles in the fashion and apparel industry. With the SpinDye® coloring process, water usage is reduced by 75 percent, the use of chemicals by 90 percent, energy consumption by 25 percent and the carbon dioxide emissions footprint is cut by 30 percent compared to traditional dyeing.
The three investors are showing their mutual commitment to drive change in the fashion and apparel industry towards a more sustainable and circular production that can be used by all textile companies concerned with resource efficiency.
“We aRe SpinDye® is a business ready to scale up its proven sustainable method for coloring synthetic textiles. With the quality and dedication of the We aRe SpinDye® team and our partner investors, we are pleased to be on board, creating the impact that is perfectly in sync with the kind of investments the Textile Innovation Fund is aiming for”, says TIF fundmanager Susan van Koeveringe
The standardized production process leads the highly analog industry towards a much needed digital shift, enabling the color consistency of the fabrics to be precise and replicable and minimizing the risk of recalls and cancelled orders.
Eske Scavenius from Social Impact Ventures, who will be joining SpinDye’s Board of Directors, says: “We are very excited to be investing in We aRe SpinDye®. We have been on the lookout for scalable innovations that combine business with impact and accelerate the transition towards a clean and healthy textile industry: We aRe SpinDye® fits the bill perfectly, and we look forward to supporting the company’s growth.” Warner Philips, partner at Social Impact Ventures and Board Chair of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovations Institute, adds: “Although We aRe SpinDye® is not yet C2C certified, it is exactly the kind of solution that the industry needs to become more sustainable, as evidenced by their impressive traction with fashion and apparel brands.”
This year We aRe SpinDye® got its breakthrough and brands like Bergans of Norway, Quiksilver, Fjällräven and Odd Molly are using the SpinDye®-coloring method. The products are labelled with the SpinDye®-sustainability KPIs and logo indicating the fabric is colored with the SpinDye®-coloring method. The company currently has positive cash flow, turned a profit in 2017, and this is the first time raising external capital.
“We at Bestbase Group think it’s wonderful to work with a group of people with ideals. We develop sustainable fabrics to do what we can to protect our environment and to give the coming generations a greener planet”, says Victor Zhu, CEO, Bestbase Group.
With this partnership, the three investors prove their commitment to drive change in the fashion industry towards a more sustainable and circular production process that can be used by all textile companies concerned with resource efficiency.
“I am thrilled to have Textile Innovation Fund, Social Impact Ventures and Bestbase Group on board as new partners. Their solid experience of supporting young businesses, new circular business models and maneuvering in the complex landscape of the textile industry will strengthen us. And most importantly, we all share a passionate belief that the textile industry must change for the better. The investment will give We aRe SpinDye® the resources to invest in growth and sets us on the path of being true change makers in the industry. We are looking forward to working with them”, says Axel Mörner, angel investor and chairman of We aRe SpinDye®.The investments will grow We aRe SpinDye®´s commercial reach and the impact of the brand, scale production capabilities and leverage the digital opportunities in the analog world of textile manufacturing, increasing the company´s already impressive growth trajectory.
Micke Magnusson, CEO at We aRe SpinDye® summarizes and concludes: “With our three new partners on board we will further fuel the revolution the fashion and apparel industry is going through. The global fashion industry is accountable for massive environmental impact and is one of the least digitalized industries on the globe. We are thrilled to have formed this partnership that will enable us to drive change faster and more effectively.’
De textielindustrie is wereldwijd verantwoordelijk voor milieuvervuiling op grote schaal. Verspilling en vervuiling van water en de uitstoot van broeikasgassen tijdens het verven van textiel zijn hiervoor de belangrijkste factoren. De duurzame methode van We aRe SpinDye reduceert waterverspilling met 75 procent, terwijl het gebruik van chemicaliën zelfs 90 procent lager is dan bij de gebruikelijke methodes. Het totale energieverbruik kan met 25 procent worden verminderd en de CO2-uitstoot ligt 30 procent lager.
De drie investeerders tonen met de investering hun betrokkenheid bij de veranderingen in de mode industrie: een meer duurzame en circulaire productiewijze die ervoor zorgt dat de textielsector efficiënter kan omgaan met de beschikbare natuurlijke hulpbronnen. Met het gestandaardiseerde productieproces van We aRe SpinDye® kan een hoofdzakelijk analoge industrie een digitale vertaalslag maken, waarmee het het verven van textiel kwalitatief hoogwaardiger en efficiënter wordt en de foutmarge omlaag gaat.
‘We aRe SpinDye® staat in de startblokken om hun innovatieve, duurzame techniek op grote schaal toe te passen. Wij zijn verheugd om, op basis van de kwaliteit en de toewijding van het We aRe SpinDye® team en onze mede investeerders, te participeren. Deze investering is in lijn met de investeringen waar het Textiel Innovatie Fonds naar streeft,’ aldus Susan van Koeveringe, fundmanager van het Textiel Innovatie Fonds.
‘Een bedrijf dat schaalbare innovatie combineert met een positieve impact op de textielindustrie, stond al een tijd op onze verlanglijst. We aRe SpinDye® past helemaal in dit plaatje. Wij kijken er dan ook naar uit om de groei van dit bedrijf te ondersteunen,’ aldus Eske Scavenius van Social Impact Ventures, die ook plaats zal nemen in de raad van bestuur van We aRe SpinDye®.
Het is de eerste externe investering voor het bedrijf dat in 2017 winst boekte. Merken als Bergans of Norway, Quiksilver en Fjällräven maken inmiddels gebruik van de SpinDye®- methode. Met de 3 miljoen euro wordt de internationale marketing opgeschaald en de productiecapaciteit vergroot. We aRe SpinDye® heeft de ambitie om de bewezen, indrukwekkende groei voort te zetten om zo verder te bouwen aan het realiseren van positieve impact en innovatie in de textielindustrie.
‘De ervaring en kwaliteiten van onze nieuwe partners zullen er mede voor zorgen dat wij onze ambitie om echte change makers in de industrie te worden gaan realisere,’ aldus Axel Mörner, voorzitter van de raad van bestuur van We aRe SpinDye®. Micke Magnusson, CEO van We aRe SpinDye® sluit zich daar bij aan: ‘De textielsector heeft nog grote stappen te maken op het gebied van digitale innovatie. Met deze partners hebben wij de expertise, ervaring en het kapitaal om een ware revolutie in de fashionindustrie te ontketenen.’
THE HAGUE – Textile Innovation Fund (TIF) has taken an interest in NORMN Hangers. The investment will give NORMN Hangers the opportunity to expand it’s position as a leading innovator in sustainable fashion utilities.
The purpose of the investment is to bring to market NORMN Hangers’ breakthrough developments and accelerate the transition to circle economy solutions in the fashion industry. The company offers a complete sustainable clothing hanger solution for fashion outlets worldwide, replacing single-use plastic hangers that are currently used to transport garments from factory to store. International expansion ‘With the participation of the Textile Innovation Fund we will be able to accelerate our international growth strategy,’ says Pieter Theron, CEO of NORMN Hangers. ‘We give brands the possibility to drastically reduce their plastic waste and help them tell better stories. NORMN Hangers provides both a powerful marketing tool for visual merchandising and branding and a product that is very easy to recycle.’
Patented products NORMN Hangers are manufactured in the Netherlands, with offices in the UK and Denmark. The company was founded in 2011 with the goal to develop paper-based hanger solutions to replace the billions of plastic hangers used and thrown away every year. The patented products are made out of scrap paper and can be dispose of at any old paper recycling station. NORMN hangers are trusted by more than a hundred fashion brands in over twenty countries.
Sustainable vision ‘NORMN Hangers is a company with ambitious goals, a proven trackrecord and a sustainable vision. Combined with the quality of management, are these the pillars we based our investment on,’ says TIF fundmanager Susan van Koeveringe. TIF stands for innovation in textile business: from fibre to bits, and from strings to sensors. The fund is managed by BB Capital Investments from The Hague and provides growth capital, network and expertise for scale up companies in a various range of textile industries.
THE HAGUE – BB Capital Investments has taken an interest in the Travel Health Group (THG). This investment will give THG the opportunity to expand its position as market leader in anti-insect products and travel healthcare innovations.
The purpose of the investment is to double the turnover in the next four years, including the expansion of foreign operations. THG offers, with Tropicare and premium brand Care Plus, a complete healthcare productline for travelers worldwide. Most well known are EU registered DEET anti-insect products and impregnated mosquito nets for the prevention of malaria and other infectious diseases.
European expansion “With BB Capital’s participation, we will be able to expand our international growth strategy,” says Arnoud Aalbersberg, CEO of the Travel Health Group. ‘Care Plus products are available throughout Europe within an extensive retail network and in our international webshop. In addition, our most popular products are available as white label. We have 7 unique DEET formulations registered in Europe. Those USPs will make sure we double our current 10 million Euro revenue in the next four years. “
From father to son Travel Health Group headquarters are located in Almere, The Netherlands. The company was founded in 1988 under the name of Primmed BV by Aalbersberg Sr. as a pharmaceutical wholesaler in travelers vaccines. Under the direction of Arnoud Aalbersberg, the labels Tropicare and Care Plus were introduced in 1992. To make sure travelers are protected is THG’s mission: the combination of information on health risks, education (including shop staff) and the best-performing products are the basis for success. Aalbersberg took over the company from his father in 1999 and from there on focussed on further international expansion. The Travel Health Group has grown to 16 employees with sales outlets in almost 30 countries.
Impact investment “The Travel Health Group is a company with ambitious goals and proven trackrecord, combined with social involvement and the quality of management, these have been the pillars we based our investment on,” says Susan van Koeveringe of BB Capital Investments. The investment is in line with recent other impact investments made by the The Hague based fund in the past period. BB Capital invests in growing Dutch SMEs in various sectors, including education, healthcare and IT.