Startup raises $3.5 million to bring additive manufacturing to fashion

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In New York, Simplifyber reports a $3.5-million seed investment that it will use to advance its cellulose-based additive manufacturing method for clothing production. 

The company has developed a novel approach to clothing and accessory manufacturing that removes traditional spinning, weaving, cutting, and sewing and replaces it with a less resource-intensive process and fully biodegradable end product.  Simplifyber claims it was the first to achieve fully-molded garment and shoe uppers made directly from a cellulose-based liquid. 

“I saw how additive manufacturing (e.g., 3D printing) was disrupting nearly every other industry, but not in fashion. I set out to find the people that could make this a reality,” says Simplifyber co-founder and CEO Maria Intscher-Owrang, who had previously worked as a designer for fashion houses like Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Alexander McQueen, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Edun. “We discovered a way to create clothing using soft plant fibers. We start with a liquid cellulose–made in a lab, not in a mill–which is then poured on specially-designed molds and dried, eliminating fabric waste altogether and allowing on-demand, stock-free service.”

The funding was led by At One Ventures, with participation from Techstars, Heritage Group Ventures, The Helm, W Fund, Jetstream Ventures, Plug & Play Ventures, REFASHIOND Ventures, CapitalX Ventures, Keeler Investments Group and others.