WWD: Gozen Secures $3.3 Million Funding for Biomaterial Used in Balenciaga Coat

### Biomaterial Company Gozen Raises $3.3 Million in Seed Funding for Lunaform

Gozen, the biomaterial company responsible for Balenciaga’s maxi bathrobe coat, has secured $3.3 million in seed funding. The company’s flagship product, Lunaform, made its fashion debut on the spring 2024 runway. The funding round was led by Hong Kong-based Happiness Capital, with participation from Accelr8, Astor Management, and climate tech-focused fund SOSV.

Founder and CEO Ece Gozen stated that the investment will be used to accelerate research and development and scale the production of Lunaform. Furthermore, the company plans to open a production facility in Turkey with a capacity of 1 million square feet. Gozen aims to produce advanced biomaterials that promote circular design.

### Lunaform: A Sustainable Alternative to Animal-based Leather

Lunaform is a biomaterial that sets itself apart from plant-based leathers. It is formed by nanocellulose microorganisms during a fermentation process, making it entirely vegan and plastic-free. The production process takes just 10 days, bypassing the need for tanning. Lunaform is available in 13-square-foot sheets with a minimum thickness of 0.2 mm. Its thickness and texture can be customized, eliminating the need for layering with other materials like polyurethane. Gozen claims that Lunaform is stronger than traditional animal leather and has applications in home furnishings and the automotive industry.

### Growing Demand for Sustainable Raw Materials in Fashion

A recent report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in collaboration with Textile Exchange and Quantis highlights the increasing pressure on the fashion industry to meet sustainability goals. The report forecasts that the demand for “preferred” raw materials, which have reduced climate impacts compared to conventional textiles, could exceed supply by 133 million tons by 2030. This poses a challenge for brands that have publicly declared decarbonization targets but lack the necessary preparations to meet them.

The report suggests that only 19 percent of materials produced in 2030 will be “preferred” due to the current lack of scale and insufficient investment in expanding supply. Brands are urged to take immediate action to invest in the supply of sustainable raw materials to secure resources and transform their business models for a sustainable future.

### Overcoming Regulatory Challenges and Compliance Issues

The report also notes that the fashion industry faces upcoming legislation, with approximately 35 new pieces of legislation set to take effect worldwide, particularly in the European Union. These laws cover various aspects, including product design, lifecycle management, and post-consumer waste recovery. Compliance with these regulations will require significant operational and system overhauls, but many brands are expected to struggle to adapt. For instance, the report highlights that only 15 percent of luxury brands are currently compliant with the U.K.’s Modern Slavery Act from 2015.

Failure to comply with regulations poses a threat to a brand’s bottom line, making it crucial for brands to invest in their raw-material strategies and supply chain relationships. Beth Jensen, Director of Climate+ Impact at Textile Exchange, emphasizes the need for brands to act boldly and invest now to achieve their climate goals by 2030.

In conclusion, Gozen’s successful seed funding round highlights the growing interest in biomaterials and sustainable alternatives in the fashion industry. However, the sector still faces challenges in meeting sustainability targets and complying with upcoming regulations. Brands must prioritize investments in sustainable raw materials and supply chains to secure a profitable and sustainable future.

Original Story at wwd.com – 2023-11-01 05:03:45

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