Fairbrics, a sustainable chemical company developing a technology that converts CO2 emissions into high-quality polyester through a circular manufacturing approach, has received €17 million from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and an additional €5 million from Fairbrics’ Technology Upscaling Project partners to bring its innovative solution to market. Current partners in the project include the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Tecnalia (Spain), Lappeenrannan Lahden teknillinen yliopisto (Finland), Aimplas (Spain), CiaoTech (Italy), German Institute for Textile and Fiber Research Denkendorf (Germany), City of Lappeenranta Villmannstrand (Finland), Digiotouch Ou (Estonia), Faurecia (France), Naldeo (France), SurePure (Belgium) and Les Tissages de Charlieu (France). In the fashion/sports sector, Fairbrics, founded in 2019 and based in Paris, has already established strategic partnerships with major brands such as H&M, On Running (CleanCloud™ technology) and Aigle.
The EU grant was awarded to a consortium coordinated by Fairbrics, bringing together 13 partners from seven countries across Europe, ranging from upstream process and process development experts (e.g., design, carbon capture, chemical reuse, electrolyzer) to end-product specialists (e.g., Faurecia for automotive and Les Tissages de Charlieu for textiles). To achieve societal impact, the project also includes a strong education component and will work with academic partners to develop learning and training resources on CO2 valorization for young professionals, university students and lifelong learners.
The combined funds of €22 million will be used to scale up the Fairbrics technology, initially in a pilot plant with a 100 kg/day capacity by 2024 and later in a one-ton/day demo plant by 2026. The main objective is to combat climate change and accelerate the decarbonization of energy-intensive industries by replacing fossil-based polyesters with CO2-based polyesters, using a circular approach that recycles CO2 emissions from chemical plants into high-value textile products. Fairbrics targets sectors where polyester is used as the primary material: Apparel, sports equipment, automotive and packaging.
“By using CO2 emissions instead of fossil resources to manufacture polyester, Fairbrics addresses one of the greatest global challenges; climate change caused greenhouse gas (GHG) emission. This funding comes as a strong recognition of the work Fairbrics has accomplished so far, the quality of the consortium we brought together, and the extraordinary potential of our technology to provide highly polluting industries like textile with an alternative environment-friendly and economically viable solution,” said Benoît Illy, co-founder and CEO of Fairbrics.
Today, polyester accounts for 60 percent of all textiles produced worldwide and one-third of the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions. By replacing fossil fuels with CO2-based sources, Fairbrics offers a sustainable and scalable solution for energy-intensive industries. The company intends to gradually diversify its technology platform and provide solutions for other sectors such as sports equipment, packaging and automotive.