Wednesday, February 21, 2024

First microbial materials to emerge from Modern Synthesis new patent-pending biotechnology platform

The pioneering biotechnology company, Modern Synthesis, has revealed a first look at its revolutionary new class of biomaterials made with nanocellulose. Produced at their newly opened pilot facility in London, this particularly strong and fine form of cellulose is derived from bacterial fermentation, resulting in a sustainable biotextile that is naturally animal and plastic free.

The company’s patent-pending biotechnology platform leverages biology, material science, and textile engineering tools to create a range of highly customisable nonwoven textiles. This new platform presents one of the biggest advances in the textile field since the industrial era, offering fashion brands the ability to reduce their ecological footprint while introducing a novel look and feel into their products.

Following a successful $5.1M fundraise last year, the company built a first-of-its-kind microfactory in London, where they are able to design new biomaterials to meet industry requirements for sustainability and performance. Working directly with fashion brands to tune the materials for specific product applications from the nanoscale up, Modern Synthesis says it’s the versatility of their technology which will enable them to deliver both impact and scale, without sacrificing quality or creative control.

“We set out to build a holistic solution to fashion’s interrelated challenges with our material platform. Our materials not only target urgent environmental concerns, but also open up entirely new possibilities for creativity in design,” says Modern Synthesis Co-founder and CEO, Jen Keane.

The company recently hosted a private event at their headquarters, where industry insiders had the opportunity to explore the potential of these new biomaterials to address fashion’s growing material crisis. The biotech platform has drawn widespread interest from the fashion industry, including Pierre Denis, the former CEO of Jimmy Choo, who became one of Modern Synthesis’ earliest angel investors. He noted:

“Luxury fashion brands are hungry for a new wave of sustainable materials that can be tailored to suit their style and products. Thanks to Modern Synthesis’ technology, this programmable biomaterial is no longer a dream for the industry – it’s real.”

This novel class of microbial textile has been designed to address environmental challenges perpetuated by traditional textiles, such as plastic pollution, chemical pollution, animal welfare, and land use. They can displace a variety of animal and petrochemical-derived materials with a significantly lower carbon footprint. The bacteria can also be grown using agricultural waste feedstocks, enabling fully circular production and empowering a circular bioeconomy.

Modern Synthesis’ bio-based textiles open up new avenues for designers to create unique products while reducing the industry’s carbon footprint and dependence on finite resources.