12 Apr 2022

Tattarang invests $26.8m in next-gen plastic free fabric leader

Tattarang is investing in the future of sustainable fabrics, committing $26.8 million (US$20 million) as part of a Series B capital raise by US-based material innovator Natural Fiber Welding

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Founded in 2015, Natural Fiber Welding, Inc. (NFW) is a material innovation company providing the global fashion, accessories and automotive industries with new material platforms to create low carbon, all natural, bio-neutral products.

Tattarang joins some of the world’s leading fashion and automotive brands who have invested in NFW to help the company build scale meet rising global demand for plastic free fabrics, textures and materials.

NFW engineers and manufactures CLARUS®, a family of high-performance, all-natural textiles; and MIRUM®, the only next-generation, zero-plastic complement to leather.

Using a patented “welding” system, NFW manipulates the bonds within these materials, making them stronger and better able to withstand changes in temperature and moisture levels.

NFW’s global customer base includes fashion brands such as Alexander McQueen, Ralph Lauren, Pangaia, Bellroy, H&M, Allbirds and Camper.

Showcasing the multi-sector applicability for the sustainably produced products, in July 2021 NFW announced a strategic partnership with BMW Group to co-develop a range of high-performance, petrochemical-free materials for the automotive industry.

Tattarang Chief Investment Officer John Hartman said the Group was excited to partner with NFW to help scale the Illinois-based company’s innovative textile solutions that will catalyse positive change across multiple industries.

“The textile industry is one of the world’s oldest and true innovation is rare,” Mr Hartman said. “We see NFW and its patented technologies as a genuine disruptor with a significant addressable market delivering products that are sincerely better for human and ocean health.”

Mr Hartman said NFW’s plant-based MIRUM® product could also present wide-ranging opportunities for R.M.Williams, the iconic Australian bootmaker and outfitter owned by Tattarang.

“Leather is of course deeply entwined in the DNA of R.M.Williams, and we have no plan to change that, however we know consumers are increasingly seeking high-performance, plastic-free leather alternatives. NFW could provide an opportunity for us to further explore this with R.M.Williams,” Mr Hartman said.

“Aligning with Andrew and Nicola Forrest’s ultimate goal to eliminate all plastic waste through the initiatives of Minderoo Foundation, Tattarang and R.M.Williams are on a journey of continuous improvement to remove plastics and other synthetics from our supply chains.

“NFW will provide valuable insights on this journey.”

NFW Chief Executive Officer Dr. Luke Haverhals said Tattarang’s investment would turbocharge production of high-performance, all-natural, circular materials products coming to market with a wide array of global brand partners.

“When we say NFW exists to eliminate plastic from the textile industry, we legitimately mean it.” Dr Haverhals said.

“Made possible with our wonderful group of investors, such as Tattarang, brand partners and employees, together we are bringing truly circular solutions to the mainstream. Consumers should never have to choose between performance, cost and environmental stewardship.”

To learn more about Natural Fiber Welding, please visit: naturalfiberwelding.com

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