Kintra Fibers, a materials science company that has developed a proprietary bio-based and biodegradable polyester, has successfully raised $8 million in Series A funding. BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD is among the co-investors who participated in the round.
The new funding will enable Kintra Fibers to expand its resin and yarn production capacities, as well as support its frontier brand partners, which include BESTSELLER, H&M, Inditex, and The Reformation, among other global brands. They have additionally come together as a Fashion for Good facilitated consortium to prototype Kintra's materials in their product lines, driven by a shared goal to explore innovative materials and processes.
"Given the significant environmental impact of traditional polyester and the expected growth of the synthetic fibre market, there is a clear need for the industry to change,” says Camilla Skjønning Jørgensen, Innovation Manager at BESTSELLER.
Reduced environmental impact
Kintra Fibers has estimated its environmental impact by comparing its raw materials and resin production processes to traditional polyester. The company found that its resin production results in a 95% reduction in GHG emissions, a 30% reduction in water usage, and a 20% reduction in energy consumption.
The team expects even greater energy savings when it completes a full life cycle assessment, as its preliminary analysis did not include yarn spinning, dyeing, or finishing, for which Kintra uses a lower temperature than traditional polyester.
Kintra's material has undergone yarn testing, which demonstrates that it boasts strength and durability comparable to traditional polyester (PET), while also being ten times softer. Kintra’s material also possesses an inherent stretch quality. This unique combination of traits produces a material with an ultra-soft hand feel, a nice drape, and a comfort stretch.
Co-founders Billy McCall and Alissa Baier-Lentz at the Kintra Fibers lab in Brooklyn, NY
Kintra Fibers will be part of BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD portfolio of investments that aim to generate change in the fashion industry. The financing round was led by H&M Group, with BESTSELLER’s Invest FWD, Fashion For Good, New York Ventures, TRE Ventures, Tech Council Ventures, and FAB Ventures among the co-investors.
"We are excited to have industry leaders like H&M, BESTSELLER, and Fashion for Good invest in Kintra Fibers. This funding, and the support from our consortium of brands partners, will accelerate our research and development and our scaling timeline, with real-time feedback on our product from brands and their manufacturing partners,” says Billy McCall, Kintra Fibers’ CEO and Co-Founder.