Global sustainable fashion innovation platform Fashion for Good has selected seven new innovators to participate in its 2022 Asia Innovation Programme during a hybrid digital/in-person event in Mumbai.

The group will take part in the nine-month programme which provides participants with tailored support to help them scale, matching the innovators with relevant industry partners to drive piloting, implementation, and investing activities.

Focusing on processing, which Fashion for Good calls one of the most impactful steps in the value chain, this year’s selection of innovators are developing technologies with the potential for positive disruption within this area in the Asia region.

Innovators AN Herbals, Fermentech Labs, Gaiacel and Sodhani Biotech, are developing unique solutions in dyeing, pre-treatment and finishing from plant, forest and agricultural waste using technologies such as bioprocessing, nanocellulose and microorganisms. The remaining innovators present pioneering innovations in raw materials, impact and end-of-use, with UKHI Hemp Foundation exploring alternative materials from hemp, Vaayu tracking carbon impact through the value chain, and Picvisa enabling the recapture of value from existing materials.

As with previous selections, the innovators receive bespoke support based on the immediate requirement of each innovator to scale, as well as exposure to corporate partners and industry ecosystem players vital to their continued growth and development.

The seven new innovators mark the third selection of innovators to participate in the Asia Innovation Programme since establishing a presence in Asia in 2020, which has supported a total of 28 innovators through the programme. 

Fashion for Good’s latest innovators:

An Herbals (India)
An Herbals has a patented circular herbal dye extraction, herbal dyeing and bioprocessing technology, that converts waste from the forest, food and ayurvedic medicine industries to dyes that are non-toxic with self-binding, antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-odour, UV resistant and mosquito repellent properties for up to 50 washes in all textiles.

Fermentech Labs (India)
Fermentech Labs is addressing the disposal of agricultural and forest residues, such as straw, peels and pine needles, through a patented biotechnology using microorganisms. They convert organic waste, otherwise destined for incineration, into industrial enzymes that are used for textile bio-polishing, desizing and bio-scouring. Along with reducing environmental carbon footprint, collecting these sustainable feedstocks ensures farmers have an alternative income stream. 

Gaiacel (US)
Gaiacel develops a novel dyeing innovation to make industrial rope and slasher dyeing processes sustainable and cost-effective. Their patented nanocellulose hydrogel along with dye particles sticks to textile surfaces and eliminates the need for multiple dipping, indigo reduction and additional chemicals. The process is less water and energy intensive compared to conventional indigo dyeing. 

PICVISA is an innovative technology-based company that designs, manufactures and supplies optical sorting and separation equipment to recover and grade textiles. PICVISA offers advanced solutions based on robotics, artificial intelligence and vision that can classify textile, fully customised to the clients needs, by its composition and colour in an efficient and automated way.  

Sodhani Biotech (India)
Sodhani Biotech produces non-toxic chemical-free natural dyes and colours from plants, plant waste and microorganisms. They produce 16 natural dye extracts using optimised extraction processes that have resulted in better yields, a wider range of shades, better water solubility and good colour fastness for printing and dyeing applications.

UKHI Hemp Foundation (India)
UKHI Hemp Foundation is a farm-to-market company, producing more than five hundred products from hemp, including hemp textiles, papers, bioplastics, composite, food products and medicines. They improve farmer and artisan livelihoods by training them to cultivate hemp and produce fabrics with higher hemp content using improvised fibre extraction processes. 

Vaayu (Germany)
Vaayu is said to be the world’s first automated carbon-tracking software for retailers, enabling businesses to reduce their footprint by providing accessible, real-time data to drive carbon reduction at scale. By integrating with point-of-sale systems, such as Shopify, and leveraging proprietary AI and machine learning technology, Vaayu draws insights from production, sales and logistics to deliver a tangible solution in the fight against climate change and a more sustainable future for retail.

A report, co-authored by Fashion for Good toward the end of last year revealed it will cost around US$1trn to finance the industry’s net-zero by 2050 ambition.