Protein Evolution’s proprietary process of transforming textile and plastic waste into new products will now focus on mixed textile waste, including polyesters and nylons, addressing one of the greatest problems facing the global textile industry today.

Beginning in 2023, Protein Evolution will process leftover polyester and nylon fabric from Stella McCartney’s collections and transform them into good-as-new fibres. From there, Stella McCartney will work with Protein Evolution to see how these new fibres could be used to produce new clothing, footwear, or other infinitely recyclable products.

“Our proprietary biological recycling process has the power to enable circularity efforts across the textile industry,” said Scott Stankey, PEI co-founder and chief technology officer. “By partnering with Stella McCartney, we are able to test our platform in a real-world setting and collectively learn how to seamlessly integrate PEI’s technology into existing manufacturing processes. This collaboration will ultimately demonstrate for the first time how complex fabric types, such as nylon and polyester blends, can be fully re-used to make new plastic material in a low-energy, cost-effective way.”

Stella McCartney was an early investor in Protein Evolution and an advocate for the company’s technology. PEI’s initial fundraising round was led by Collaborative Fund’s climate-focused Collab SOS, which is in partnership with McCartney. “We’re honoured to partner with Stella McCartney on this ambitious and hopefully ground-breaking effort,” said Connor Lynn, PEI co-founder and chief business officer. “Stella’s brand is synonymous with sustainability, circularity and innovation. Together we’re setting out to accomplish something that’s never been done at an industrial scale before, and we’re just getting started.”