Paris-based Fairbrics, a sustainable chemical company, announced on Tuesday that it has secured €17M from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Programme and another €5M from Partners to the Technology Upscaling Project, representing a total of €22M in funding.
According to Fairbrics, 60 per cent of all textiles produced globally and a third of the greenhouse gas emissions from the fashion sector are due to polyester. This is where the Paris-based company aims to make a difference.
Founded in 2019 by Benoit Illy and Tawfiq Nasr Allah, Fairbrics offers a technology that converts CO2 emissions into high-value polyester through a circular manufacturing approach. Currently, the company says it will focus on the fashion sector and has already established strategic alliances with companies like H&M, On-Running, and Aigle.
Support from the European Union
The grant from the EU was given to a consortium led by Fairbrics that consists of 13 partners from seven different European nations. These partners range from experts in upstream and process development, such as engineering design, CO2 capture, chemical reuse, and electrolyser, to experts in final product development like Faurecia for automotive and Les Tissages de Charlieu for textile.
The Project aims to promote social impact, including an educational component, and in collaboration with academic partners, it will develop learning and training materials on CO2 valorisation for young professionals, college students, and lifelong learners.
The Partners to the Technology Upscaling Project include The University of Antwerp (Belgium), TECNALIA (Spain), Lappeenrannan Lahden teknillinen yliopisto (Finland), AIMPLAS (Spain), CiaoTech (Italy), Deutsche institute fur textil- und faserforschung denkendorf (Germany), CITY OF LAPPEENRANTA VILLMANSTRAND (Finland), DIGIOTOUCH OU (Estonia), Faurecia (France), Naldeo (France), SurePure (Belgium), and Les Tissages de Charlieu (France).
Fairbrics says that it will use the combined funds to further its technology, first in a 100 kg/day pilot line by 2024 and then in a 1 ton/day demonstration plant by 2026. The Project’s aim is to combat climate change and accelerate the decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries by switching from polyester derived from fossil fuels to polyester derived from CO2.
Besides clothes, Fairbrics is also targeting the automobile, packaging, and sports equipment industries.
Co-founder and CEO, Benoît Illy, says, “By using CO2 emissions instead of fossil resources to manufacture polyester, Fairbrics addresses one of the greatest global challenges, climate change caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. This funding comes as a strong recognition of the work Fairbrics has accomplished so far, the quality of the consortium we brought together, and the extraordinary potential of our technology to provide highly polluting industries like textile with an alternate environment-friendly and economically viable solution.”