Outdoor wear specialist Patagonia has invested in Beyond Surface Technologies, a fast growing Swiss company developing textile treatments for outdoor apparel based on natural raw materials.

The investment is through Patagonia’s environmental $20 Million & Change fund, which was set up two years ago to help start-up companies provide environmental solutions.

Beyond Surface Technologies is working to create biobased textile finishes for outdoor apparel that also offer high performance and do not reduce its lifespan. Products include miDori bioLink textile finishes, which carry the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label; and the bioSoft range of soft hand wicking finishes for sportswear.

"This is the tension we feel every day, making the best technical products for our core sports and working to fulfil our environmental commitments," says Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario. "We look for better, cleaner, safer ways to do things, we apply our own R&D and look for brilliant companies to partner with.

"Beyond Surface Technologies has the potential to help Patagonia and our entire industry get to the next level of chemical safety without compromising performance, and we’re very excited to invest in their success."

Matthias Foessel, CEO of Beyond Surface Technologies adds: "Patagonia’s investment gives us the opportunity to accelerate testing and reduce time to market for our pipeline of ground-breaking new treatments for the entire apparel industry. Patagonia is enabling us to grow even faster – benefiting the environment and enhancing product performance – while remaining completely independent and in control of the original founders."

Patagonia plans to share any breakthroughs Beyond Surface Technologies may produce with the entire outdoor industry in order to amplify the environmental impact to the greatest extent possible.

Last year the company invested in CO2Nexus, which has developed a sustainable method of processing textiles and garments using liquid carbon dioxide, which uses no water, consuming less energy and generating very little waste.