Last week CEO and Founder of Future Tech Lab Miroslava Duma moderated a panel discussion on accelerating the Sustainability Revolution through materials science and technology at Founders Forum London, a community of the world’s leading digital and technology entrepreneurs. Panellists included Ingvar Helgason, CEO and Co-Founder of Vitrolabs - ethical engineered leather; Daphna Nissenbaum, CEO and Co-Founder of Tipacorp - revolutionary fully compostable packaging; Dan Widmaier, CEO and Co-Founder of Boltthreads - high strength materials like spider silk and Mylo mycelium leather.
Miroslava opened the discussion by discussing the impact of the fashion industry on the environment: “The textiles industry relies mostly on non-renewable resources, including oil to produce synthetic fibers, fertilisers to grow cotton, and chemicals to produce, dye, and finish fibers and textiles. According to Accenture Report “Waste to Wealth”, we currently use 1.5x the resources that Earth supplies us with. 2.5 billion additional consumers are expected to join the middle class by 2030, so we need 4 Earths by 2050. We only have 1, so need to become 4x more resource efficient”.
The discussion focused on highlighting the wins and struggles of every participant in their journey to build their business as well as their current focus. They also shared thoughts on the process of scaling bioengineering, principles of circularity and international relations. The discussion concluded with the fact that the process of running the industry on 100% alternative and renewable energy was inevitable, as the 4th industrial revolution was well underway and focused on a sustainable, renewable and connected future of fashion.