Sustainable fashion is a fast-growing trend and plant-free fabric maker Nanollose (ASX:NC6) — which listed today on the ASX — is ready to take advantage.

Nanollose shares were up 6c at 26c in Wednesday afternoon trade — a 30 per cent premium to their 20c issue price.

Demand for sustainable fashion “is transforming product design and manufacturing”, McKinsey’s 2017 State of Fashion report found in December.

In some markets, more than 65 per cent of consumers actively seek out sustainable fashion and products, McKinsey reported.

Consumer interest is driven by social media – and a growing realisation that the fashion industry hasn’t met  environmental standards in the past.

Nanollose’s plant-free bio-mass used to create fabrics for sustainable fashion

A global fashion industry report released in May by Boston Consulting Group rated the fashion industry only 32 out of 100 for sustainability.

“Apparel consumption is constantly on the rise, increasing the need for the fashion industry to address its environmental and social footprint,” the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report noted.

That’s good news for Nanollose — an innovative Aussie outfit that makes plant-free fibres from liquid bio-mass such as beer, wine and food waste as an alternative to cotton, flax and timber.

Nanollose (ASX:NC6) debuts on the ASX today after raising $5 million by selling shares for 20c each.

Nanollose CEO Alfie Germano

“There is a huge shift — a zeitgeist,” says Nanollose chief and former exec at Gap and VF Corporation, Alfie Germano.

“Companies that are proactive with their social responsibility and procurement practices are the ones that will succeed and progress,” Mr Germano said.

Mr Germano uses the example of yoga pants which are “currently made of various fibres that come from petroleum and trees.

“We are working towards giving the industry alternatives in our plant-free products.”

Nanollose made headlines for its fermented beer dress two years ago, when it was presented at the World Expo in Italy’s fashion capital of Milan.

Now Nanollose aims to roll out its technology more widely.

Nanollose plans to collaborate and share its plant-free technology throughout the textile and fashion ecosystem, Mr Germano said.

At its lab in Perth, Nanollose creates a unique, plant-free cellulose material – an organic polymer which is the basic building block for many textiles and for paper.

Unlike plant-based fabrics such as cotton – Australia’s second most water-intensive crop — Nanollose grows its fibres via the fermentation of bacteria which requires no light or land.

Nanollose’s first priority is to perfect a textile that can be easily used by clothing manufacturers with existing machinery.

The potential markets and their individual sectors were vast, Mr Germano said.

“In apparel alone there are sectors such as sport, outdoor, casual, kids, etc. But textiles are also what we sleep on, have in our home, in our cars and even what we walk over.”

Market opportunities also extend to food, horticulture, personal hygiene and even disposable nappies – tipped to be a $72 billion market by 2020.

Fibre materials produced by Nanollose technology.
Fibre materials produced by Nanollose technology.

Funds from the IPO will be used to accelerate technology and development.

Nanollose is aiming to unveil a “market ready product” within the next year.

“We are cautiously confident that we should start seeing some green shoots that in turn will be applied to industry.

“Success for us is getting support from key industrial partners. That said – and judging by the  level of interest so far — I feel we will positively navigate in the right direction.

“A win for us is a win for all of us who participate in the industry — and a big win for the environment.”


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