Promising seaweed yarnmaker AlgiKnit has resurfaced after four years of fine-tuning, fund-raising and development with new digs and a first reveal of its kelp-based yarn.
The Brooklyn-based company — founded in 2017 by Fashion Institute of Technology alumni Tessa Callaghan and Aleksandra Gosiewski and Pratt Institute alum Aaron Nesser — has been in full expansion mode counting investments from Horizons Ventures and Fashion for Good, among others.
Kelp powers AlgiKnit’s yarns and is advantageous as an alternative to synthetics for its highly renewable and regenerative properties (growing up to two feet a day under ideal conditions, all without the inputs needed for conventional agriculture). The company’s yarns are said to boast greater functionality and lower environmental footprints than conventional fibers with an array of uses in footwear, accessories and clothing.
Morrisville, N.C., will be the home of AlgiKnit’s new innovation hub, the company revealed Wednesday. Counting a storied textile tradition as part of the state’s Research Triangle — or bustling metropolitan center of the Piedmont region — the hub will have close proximity to research, testing facilities and expertise, giving AlgiKnit a supposed leg up to sustain its momentum. (Two of its cofounders, Callaghan and Gosiewski, were named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30″ list.)
“We know consumers need more cost-competitive, environmentally sound material options that perform as well as conventional materials,” said Nesser, cofounder and chief technology officer of AlgiKnit. “The yarn we’re producing today has the look and feel of the natural fibers consumers are familiar with, plus all the makings of a no-compromise conscious material.”
Callaghan, AlgiKnit cofounder and chief executive officer, called the expansion “an important next step for AlgiKnit’s growth” citing its mission to foster a carbon-neutral, toxin-free future in fashion.
Beginning in early 2022, the team will scale production of its eco-conscious kelp yarns for “global brands,” the company said, without providing details.