Rubi, the company creating a new way of manufacturing that exists in harmony with the planet, today announces its initial strategic pilot partnerships with global fashion brands Reformation, GANNI, Nuuly, H&M, and Patagonia, and a fresh $8.7 million in Series Seed funding led by Talis Capital, alongside Patagonia’s Tin Shed Ventures, H&M Group, Collaborative Fund, and Necessary Ventures. With top brand partners and $13.5 million in total funding, Rubi has the capital, talent, and technology to rapidly scale its production process, push innovation through the apparel supply chain and deliver limited collections of planet-positive apparel to its customers.
“Rubi is turning fashion’s supply chain on its head, transforming a wasteful and resource intensive process into a net positive for the planet,” said Kathleen Talbot, Chief Sustainability Officer and VP of Operations at Reformation. “Up to two-thirds of fashion’s environmental impact happens at the raw materials stage, before clothing is even produced, which means investing in next generation materials is absolutely critical. Innovations like Rubi are not only key to helping Reformation achieve Climate Positivity, but also play an important role in building a future for fashion that is actually hopeful and inspiring.”
Rubi has proven its ability to scale quickly. Within the last year, the company has captured the interest of the scientific community, top investors, and supply chain experts: The company received a $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, raised $4.25 million in Pre-Seed funding, won The H&M Foundation’s coveted Global Change Award, was included as a Changemaker in Fashion For Good’s Global Innovation Programme, and landed on Forbes 30 under 30 for manufacturing and industry. Within the last 6 months alone, the team has grown by 200% and hired its new Cellulose Engineer from the top cellulose research lab led by Orlando Rojas at Aalto University.
“Rubi Laboratories is an exciting fabric development that has the potential to be climate positive as it looks to sequester carbon from the atmosphere in various manufacturing processes,” said Nicolaj Reffstrup, Founder of GANNI. “We ultimately need to get to a place where we can create products that leave a truly positive impact. Fabric innovations will play a crucial role in getting fashion to that point, but for this to happen brands need to place bets and take risks. This is why we’re committed to supporting and investing in breakthrough fabric innovations like Rubi Laboratories through our innovation initiative ‘Fabrics of the Future’.”
Symbiotic Manufacturing in Fashion and Beyond
Rubi exists to ensure the planetary future by restoring Earth’s ecological balance with reimagined supply chains that are symbiotic with the planet. Inspired by how trees grow, Rubi uses biochemical processes powered by enzymes at an industrial scale to “eat” carbon emissions and make carbon-negative, resource-neutral textiles. Rubi’s patent-pending, cell-free biocatalysis process captures and converts CO2 from the waste streams of manufacturing facilities into cellulose. The converted cellulose is then used to create lyocell yarn which can be used for clothing and materials. 100% of CO2 inputted to the end product is done with zero waste.
“We know we’re part of something bigger. The world desperately needs affordable and scalable solutions rooted in cutting-edge science and technology to reinvent the ways industries operate,” said Neeka Mashouf, CEO and Co-Founder of Rubi Labs. “Rubi has done that by creating a new way of manufacturing that mimics nature called symbiotic manufacturing. While we’re applying our solution to the fashion industry first, it’s our goal to make every supply chain exist in harmony with the planet.”
Asha Agrawal, managing director of Tin Shed Ventures and Corporate Development for Patagonia said: “We’re thrilled to add Rubi to the Tin Shed Ventures portfolio. Patagonia needs innovative partners to help us maintain the cleanest supply chain possible. We’re hopeful Rubi’s technology can help us extract fewer resources and reduce our carbon emissions.”
Matus Maar, Managing Partner at Talis Capital, who led Rubi’s Series Seed funding alongside Associate Cecilia Manduca, said: “At Talis we strongly believe that now is the time for companies to make strides in decarbonising existing industries by leveraging advances in synthetic biology, biomanufacturing and machine learning. We have been lucky enough to continue partnering with Neeka, Leila and the entire Rubi team as they progress on their mission to decarbonise supply chains and re-think how we produce materials in harmony with the planet.”
Ciara Cates, Lead Material Developer for Patagonia said: “Patagonia is excited about the potential of carbon capture to make clean cellulosic pulp. Moving away from trees and other extractive industries, and finding new ways to protect nature and reduce the resource intensity of our products, is a true unlock and a critical development for our industry.”
Kim Gallagher, Director of Marketing & Customer Success for Nuuly said: “Nuuly is thrilled to be one of Rubi’s pilot partners, as the carbon-negative technology they are pioneering has the potential to change the landscape of apparel production. We believe that Rubi’s innovative work upstream paired with Nuuly’s circular model downstream can provide all consumers with an even more environmentally-minded way to access fashion.”
Erik Karlsson, Investment Manager at H&M CO:LAB said: “We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to join other notable investors in supporting Rubi and its passionate committed team as they embark on the next exciting phase of their journey towards commercialization. Building on their recent success of winning H&M Foundation’s prestigious Global Change Award, this funding round is further testament to the value and potential of their award winning innovation. Using new and advanced technological manufacturing processes to create a sustainably sourced fabric is exactly the type of innovation that the industry desperately needs to drive progress and enact real meaningful change.”
Sophie Bakalar, Venture Partner at Collaborative Fund said: “Decarbonizing the textile industry is no small feat, and we’re lucky that brilliant founders like Neeka and Leila are devoting themselves to developing truly breakthrough technology to tackle this problem. Rubi’s cell-free catalysis process could revolutionize biomanufacturing and we’re thrilled to be supporting them.”
Rubi is creating a new way of manufacturing that exists in harmony with the planet. Inspired by how trees grow, the company uses biochemical processes powered by enzymes at an industrial scale to “eat” carbon emissions and make carbon-negative, resource-neutral textiles. Rubi was founded by two twin sisters, Neeka Mashouf and Leila Mashouf, who grew up in the fashion industry with a global family fashion brand, Bebe Stores. Neeka and Leila then studied to become scientists in materials and biology, and ultimately teamed up to re-invent fashion supply chains with a proprietary biomanufacturing technology that is inherently planet-positive. To learn more, visit http://www.rubi.earth.