Fairbrics was awarded a EUR17m grant by the European Union as part of its Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Program, and a further EUR5m from partners to the Technology Upscaling Project.
The EU’s grant was awarded to a consortium coordinated by Fairbrics that brings together 13 partners from seven countries throughout Europe, ranging from upstream and process development experts (i.e. engineering design, CO2 capture, chemical reuse, electrolyzer) to final product specialists (i.e. Faurecia for automotive, Les Tissages de Charlieu for textile).
The combined funds will be used to upscale Fairbrics’ technology, first in a pilot line of 100 kg/day by 2024 and later, by 2026, in a 1 ton/day demo plant. The primary aim is to fight climate change and accelerate energy-intensive industries’ decarbonisation by replacing fossil-based polyester with CO2-based polyester, using a circular approach that recycles CO2 waste fumes from chemical plants into high-value textile products. Fairbrics targets sectors employing polyester as a main material: clothing but also sports equipment, automotive and packaging.
“By using CO2 emissions instead of fossil resources to manufacture polyester, Fairbrics addresses one of the greatest global challenge, 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,” said Benoît Illy, co-founder and CEO of Fairbrics.
Today, polyester accounts for 60% of all textiles produced worldwide and a third of the fashion industry’s GHG emissions, the company says. By replacing fossil fuel sources with CO2-based sources, Fairbrics provides a sustainable and scalable solution to energy-intensive industries. Fairbrics will initially address the fashion industry and has already secured strategic partnerships with major brands such as H&M, On-Running and Aigle. It intends to progressively diversify its technology platform with solutions addressing other sectors such as sports equipment, packaging and automotive.
Just Style interviewed Fairbrics CEO Benoît Illy about the group’s plans to produce new raw material from “thin air”.