Australian technology company produces a world first sustainable alternative to one of the world’s top polluting industries.
Australian company Nanollose Ltd is raising $5,000,000 from Australian investors, with ambitions to commercialise their sustainable fibre technology after an IPO on the Australian Securities Exchange expected for September.
Nanollose Chief Executive Officer Alfie Germano says this marks an exciting time for the company, with its world first Plant-Free Cellulose fibre set to potentially become a sustainable alternative to commonly used but environmentally damaging fibres such as cotton.
“The farming of cotton is widely considered to be the world’s dirtiest crop, and this isn’t a surprise considering it is the second most water-intensive crop in Australian agriculture, is grown on vast acres of land and accounts for a significant amount of global insecticide use,” Mr Germano said.
“We believe we have a solution to this in our Plant-Free Cellulose fibre, which can be used in the same way as other fibres to make clothing and textiles but with a dramatically reduced environmental footprint,” he said.
Cellulose is the building block raw material found in items people use on a daily basis such as paper, clothing and hygiene products. Currently, cellulose is obtained from plant sources like cotton, wood and bamboo, with the supply chains and procurement ecosystems of these industries raising ever-growing environmental concerns.
By contrast, Nanollose’s Plant-Free Cellulose fibre is created using microbes that convert biomass waste products from the beer, wine and liquid food industries into cellulose, in a process that requires very little land, water or energy. A production cycle is just 18 days, compared to the eight months seen in the cotton industry.
“We are the only company we know of looking to produce Plant-Free Cellulose fibres, and our process is intrinsically simple and low-tech,” said Mr Germano. “Our production cycle of 18 days gives us roughly 20 growth cycles per year. This high production rate and ability to vertically farm our fibres allows production to scale quickly while maintaining a low environmental footprint.”
Sustainable fibre of the future
As more headlines surrounding the environmental impact of the textile industry emerge, there is increasing urgency from brands, retailers and manufacturers to seek and cultivate alternative fibre resources.
In April this year retail juggernaut H&M released a sustainability report highlighting their commitment to use 100% sustainably sourced materials by 2030, while Zara recently joined the movement with the launch of their new sustainable line, Join Life, modelled by Sasha Pivovrova.
“Progressive brands and companies are starting to facilitate this new shift by involving themselves deeper in the supply chain and searching for feasible, sustainable long-term alternatives,” Mr Germano said.
Funds to accelerate development and build partnerships
In anticipation of the company’s IPO in September, Nanollose plans to offer investors 25,000,000 shares at $0.20 to raise $5,000,000, bringing the total amount of shares on issue to 74.9 million and giving Nanollose a market capitalisation of $14.9m.
Mr Germano says the funds will be used to accelerate the development of the company’s fibre technologies and build production supply chains with key partners, who will license and grow the fibre.
“We are almost at a point in our development roadmap where we could offer our Plant-Free Cellulose fibre as a sustainable alternative to that of cellulose derived from cotton and wood.”
Mr Germano – who has held multiple VP positions at some of the largest global apparel brands – says his vast experience in supply chains has led to the decision to let potential partners do the heavy lifting.
“We are a technology company, not a production company, and the funds we are raising will go towards creating an end-to-end supply chain with key partners.” he said.
“The goal is to then feed our sustainable alternative into the global industries with little to no retrofitting to existing machinery or processes.”