Stella McCartney Debuts Bio-Recycled Polyester Material at COP28

Protein Evolution and Stella McCartney present the inaugural garment made from package and textile waste at COP28, marking a pioneering collaboration in recycled polyester.

Biological recycling pioneer Protein Evolution has joined forces with renowned luxury fashion label Stella McCartney to unveil a groundbreaking achievement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) — the debut of the “world’s first” garment crafted from package and textile strappings waste.

The innovative parka garment, conceived by Stella McCartney and brought to life using Protein Evolution’s cutting-edge Biopure technology, took center stage at COP28. The parka’s creation involved the transformation of rigid packaging and industrial textile waste into textile-grade polyester. Stella McCartney’s team then skillfully spun the polyester into yarn and expertly wove it into a new, sustainable fabric.

Revolutionizing Recycled Polyester

Biopure, Protein Evolution’s proprietary technology, employs AI-designed enzymes to break down polyester waste into raw materials. This results in a polyester indistinguishable from its petroleum-derived counterparts. Notably, the polyester produced through this method is infinitely recyclable. It showcased a significantly reduced carbon footprint compared to traditional petroleum-based polyester.

The material is capable of processing various waste streams from plastic bottles to industrial textiles. Biopure stands as a versatile and sustainable solution across multiple sectors. Connor Lynn, co-founder and chief business officer of Protein Evolution, expressed the significance of this achievement. He stated that Biopure offers companies an alternative to the landfill or incinerator for their fabrics. It also extends the life of their materials indefinitely.”

Funding Innovation for a Circular Fashion Future

Protein Evolution’s was funded by Collaborative Fund’s climate-focused Collab SOS in partnership with Stella McCartney and LVMH. This played a pivotal role in supporting this groundbreaking collaboration. The brand noted the remarkable progress achieved in less than a year. It’s pioneering a circular solution for the fashion industry by using unused polyester fabrics being transformed into virgin-quality polyester.

Stella McCartney took unused fabrics from my past collections to test and prove their textile-to-textile circular process. This allowed the atelier to design and create beautiful, airy parachute parkas made from biologically recycled polyester. Stella McCartney’s is currently displaying the parka at COP28, running through December 12, 2023.

Protein Evolution proudly asserts itself as the “only company in the world” to validate bio-recycling technology. It does this by seamlessly integrating garments into the existing supply chain. This positioning underscores its commitment to offering a tangible solution for decarbonizing plastic production and addressing the plastic waste crisis. The collaboration represents a beacon of progress towards a more sustainable and circular future for fashion.

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