Social Innovation: Future Tech Lab

Happy 2020 dear friends! Hope you had a great start into the new decade! To kick-start yet another innovative year, we decided to tell you about revolution happening in the fashion industry.

Source: Future Tech Lab

Today’s $2.5T fashion industry can be hardly considered socially and environmentally responsible. According to a 2018 UN report, it is the second highest user of water worldwide, producing 20% of global water waste. The apparel industry accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions. The rise of affordable low-quality clothing has also led to increased textile waste, with 21 billion tons ending up in landfills annually. Not to mention that most of the clothes are made in places with weak labor law enforcement and human rights violations.

Innovation is supporting the industry shift towards a more circular, fair and responsible model of manufacturing and distribution. One disruptive movement aims to bring together fashion, technology and science to create a sustainable future.

Future Tech Lab founded by Miroslava Duma is a hybrid investment company, multinational accelerator, experimental laboratory and philanthropic organization on a mission to transform fashion and apparel industry. So far, FTL has assessed 150 startups and discovered or has in the pipeline 350 technologies. FTL supports several companies that we found particularly interesting:

  • Vitro Labs creates a laboratory-engineered cruelty free leather. It is currently working on BioFur and leather from stem-cells.
  • Diamond Foundry is a company behind man-made lab-grown diamonds. Diamond Foundry takes the two big greenhouse gases – methane and carbon dioxide – and creates diamonds, with oxygen and water as the output.
  • Reformation is an apparel company producing most of its apparel collections in the US using sustainable methods and materials.
  • Worn Again is a textile to textile recycling technology that contributes to the circular economy movement. It allows to separate and recapture polyester (PET) and cotton from discarded clothing to produce virgin-equivalent polyester and cellulosic raw materials to go back into the supply chain.

On top of that, FTL has just announced its first patent. Flowerdown is a fully biodegradable material, created with natural​ wildflowers and a biopolymer. It has been infused with aerogel for performance and durability. You can find FLWRDWN coats on Pangaia website and although the price tag is still relatively high to reach the mass market, we believe it is just the matter of time.

FTL is a great proof that wonderful things can happen when we see the bigger picture and engage minds from across industries. The world needs the change and it is coming!

Written by Olga Bratsun