Investing in Soarce—renewable & high performance material innovation


Investing in Soarce—renewable & high performance material innovation

Words Founders Factory

March 28th 2024 / 3 min read

We’re excited to announce our latest Blue Action Accelerator investment—Soarce.

The problem

The fashion industry represents 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually. Over half of these emissions come during the processing stage, where dyeing and performance treatments are added. This is due to the copious amounts of water—anywhere between 90 and 150 litres per kg of fabric—needed to dye and treat fabric, not to mention the numerous toxic chemicals that are directly related to chronic respiratory disease.

On an annual basis, new EU regulations being formed are forcing fashion brands to overhaul their production processes and supply chains to meet their 2030 sustainability goals.

Although innovative, sustainable dyes and treatments help reduce water and toxic chemicals during the processing stage, they cause a detrimental drop in the textile's ‘‘colour fastness’ (resistance to colour fading from sunlight). 

Moreover, the struggle to maintain colour fastness poses a significant barrier to innovation and revenue within the industry. Fashion brands are constrained by the need to adhere to strict regulations, while endeavouring to meet consumer demands for vibrant, long-lasting clothing. The inability to reconcile these competing priorities stifles progress and perpetuates a cycle of environmental and economic inefficiency.

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The solution

Soarce has a bold vision to create materials designed at the intersection between nature and performance, addressing challenges like durability and colour fastness. They are principally doing this through development of a proprietary chemistry known as Searamic. 

Searamic stands out for its exceptional attributes, including industrial-grade oxidation protection, TiO2-free optical brightener, and modifiable surface finishes. It also offers unparalleled UV and IR shielding/reflecting capabilities, effectively blocking up to 97-98.5% of UVA/UVB radiation, resulting in superior colour fastness protection.

By incorporating a seaweed-extract colour-retention additive, Soarce revolutionises colour durability by significantly mitigating fading, even under prolonged exposure to sunlight. This breakthrough empowers fashion brands to expand their colour palettes, embracing a wider spectrum of hues that were previously constrained by susceptibility to fading, all achieved without resorting to harmful processes or chemicals.

All this is rooted in sustainability, which is reflected in the composition of their chemistry being derived from nanoceramics and seaweed cellulose. This ensures that their solution is not only environmentally friendly but also chemically clean, delivering exceptional performance without compromising on ecological integrity.

The team

Derek Saltzman (CEO & co-founder)

Derek is an experienced material science entrepreneur with a background in nanomaterial processing. At university, he co-founded an advanced carbon fibre manufacturing startup for high performing drones with Mason and Patrick, which would eventually evolve into Soarce. He has regularly contributed to academic publications on high temperature materials and research in nanomaterial processing for aerospace structures.

Mason Mincey (COO & co-founder)

Mason similarly hails from a background in nanomaterials and advanced materials. During his studies, he received grants for research into nanomaterials for applications in automotive, aerospace, and medical industries.

Patrick Michel (Chief Sales Officer & co-founder)

Patrick brings a combination of technical experience and business acumen, having studied business administration at university and occupied various sales roles at startups. 

Matthew Jaeger (CFO & co-founder)

Matthew has a background in actuary and reinsurance. He studied actuarial science at university, and has spent nearly three years at Hannover Re, one of the world’s leading reinsurers. 

Why we’re excited to invest

Olivia Brooks, investor at Blue Action Accelerator, says: “As a keen advocate of leather alternatives, I’m very excited to announce our investment into Soarce. Soarce’s approach to combining seaweed and nanomaterials presents an exciting opportunity in the material science industry to create a high-performing, sustainable alternative to leather. The results showing Soarce's material as flame resistant, UV shielding, and antimicrobial position them well for widespread adoption across many industries.  The founding team are incredibly dynamic and their skills in the material science and nanomaterial processing space definitely make them the right people to tackle this!”

What they’re looking to gain from the programme

  • Securing supply chain agreements with algae producers, tapping into EU grant pool, introductions to align material and textile companies 

  • Sourcing high quality talent that is relevant to our industry 

  • Structuring and strategising the next round of investment for our pilot facility 

Building at the forefront of ocean and coastal health?

Learn more about Blue Action Accelerator

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