I’m Moby, one of the cofounders of ambercycle, a company dedicated to ending ‘waste’ in fashion. My cofounder Shay and I started ambercycle in 2015 while college roommates at UC Davis. As graduation was coming close, Shay and I literally had 0 job prospects. We were just two science majors who both didn’t really know what we wanted to do. However, we did know we wanted to make a positive impact.
One day, Shay fell into one of his usual Wikipedia rabbit holes, this time all about recycling. What he found was crazy. We learned how limited the recycling infrastructure is in the world. People pay waaaaay more technological attention to making new materials than to reusing existing ones.
Learning that a really small fraction of what we put in the recycling bin actually gets recycled is basically the 20-year-old version of learning that the tooth-fairy isn’t real.
Nowhere did the math of this problem seem more extreme than in fashion. While there was a method to turn bottles into clothing, this was solving little of the massive waste problem in fashion. We learned that about 73% of clothing still gets buried in landfills or burned, which is honestly absurd considering how much clothing is made every year.
This initially gave us both a lot of anxiety… but then came the excitement:
What if new technology could be developed to better separate clothing? What if the same elegant techniques used to make new apparel from new materials could be applied to making new materials from worn-out apparel?
We came down with a serious case of trash fever.
And so we decided:
‘let’s do cool science to recycle clothes.’
Since then, we’ve spent 6 years doing R&D, networking, crying on the floor, and learning (kind of) how the world works. With our amazing team we recently launched cycora™, our first solution to the vast problem we encountered years ago. cycora™ is the regenerated alternative to conventional polyester, and is made from landfill-destined ‘waste’. This is a big milestone, but where we’re at now is just the beginning.
With our technology, which we call ambercycling, we will:
- create new polyester from old polyester that already exists above ground, rather than from oil
- reconstruct ‘waste’ clothing into new textile materials
- rebuild plastics infrastructure to become climate positive
Our goal is to regenerate and distribute more and more cycora™ to brands, designers, and companies. This way, we can learn to adapt the products we already love to be made with regenerated materials. And it’s not just about us, everyone has a part to play in ensuring that materials stay clear of landfills and the environment. We’re here to help connect the dots so everyone can learn how to contribute. Our resources and community are here to help build that vision of a completely circular future in fashion.
From our humble beginnings in a literal garage, ambercycle’s mission has always been to make it easy and accessible for brands and individuals to contribute to circularity, and for everyone to have a whole new way to responsibly and harmoniously interact with goods and materials.
Together with you, we’re going all the way to create a new material future for apparel.
See you there,