Joshua Lawson Myers - Denimolite Ltd

Tell us about your business.

Here at Denimolite Ltd., we are reducing the environmental impact of the clothing industry and fast fashion by recycling unwanted garments and unusable manufacturing offcuts into an innovative, durable, and visually striking sustainable material, which we call, Denimolite!

Our material has a marble-like pattern and a pleasing tactile texture and made using a plant-based binding agent. The ingredients in our binding agent are co-products or waste sourced from other industries, which are none compete with food production and food-based agriculture. The plant-based ingredient percentage is amongst the highest in the industry with zero comprise on performance.
Currently we are producing our material on a small scale suitable for homeware product and small application, although it is our intention to manufacture Denimolite in much larger sheet materials making it more suitable for application in furniture and fittings such as tables, benches or counter tops in both commercial and residential spaces.

What is the problem or need you are looking to address and how does your business idea meets this need?

The problem is the environmental impact of the clothing industry and fast fashion - finding a useful application for otherwise polluting fabric waste. For brands manufacturing and selling products made from denim, they face a few basic pain points:

  1. Reducing pollution. The UK purchases 70 million pairs of jeans each year, when making jeans there is always a mass of unusable waste fabric that is produced, in the UK, this is estimated at 260,000 tonnes annually. Globally, waste denim is estimated at 2.16 million tonnes per year. Traditionally, jeans were made with 100% cotton, however today's 'denim', especially lower quality, fast fashion garments often contain additional ingredients, such as Polyester & Elastane: man-made fibres. Incineration is the most common disposal method currently, leading directly to the emission of CO2 gas.
  2. The longevity of garments and products. Fast fashion has consumed the industry with lower quality garments, clothing is now being worn 40% less compared to previous generations. And when discarded, 73% is either burned or sent to landfill, 12% of what is collected is mechanically recycled, and less than 1% of collected waste is used to make new products.
  3. Recycling poly-cotton fabrics. Fast fashion garment and stretch denim contains man-made fibres which allows the fabric to stretch. Unlike 100% cotton denim can be re spun into yarn whereas poly-cotton is notoriously difficult to recycle. Poly-cotton waste is either incinerated or dumped in landfills.

At Denimolite, we transform all types of waste denim, into an innovative material designed for architectural and interior markets. We are already working with a Denim brand (ELV Denim), preventing some of their unusable off-cuts from contributing negatively to the environment.

We are reducing the environmental impact of the clothing industry and fast fashion by recycling unwanted garments and unusable manufacturing offcuts into an innovative, durable, visually striking, and sustainable material, which we call, Denimolite!

Denimolite acts as a time capsule for garments worn today, using waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill and encapsulating one of our most popular textiles within high-quality products that look good. The project aim for this grant is to set up the manufacturing equipment required to produce large commercially viable Denimolite panels for architectural and interiors markets, however the full range of our product catalogue can be seen on our website, www.denimolite.com. We simply transform ALL types of waste denim into materials designed for architectural and interior markets: ideal for furniture and fittings, in commercial and residential spaces. Denimolite stands against the direct emissions of CO2 from existing poly-cotton recycling/incineration.

Our material has a marble-like pattern and a pleasing tactile texture and is made using a plant-based binding agent. The ingredients in our binding agent are co-products or waste sourced from other industries, which do not compete with food production and food-based agriculture. The plant-based ingredient percentage is amongst the highest in the industry with zero comprise on performance.

Our route to market will be firstly working with furniture designers such as MTO furniture. They would purchase our Denimolite panels and showcase the material on high-quality bespoke designed furniture. By featuring our material and showing its versatility as a construction material for furniture, this will attract more clients to our business increasing our chances of commercial success within the architectural and interiors markets.

What inspired your idea and business?

The project started during COVID-19 when I was unsuccessful in finding an internship during my university studies. I was also partly inspired by artist Jorge Penades' work "Structural Skin", featured in "Why Materials Matter" by Seetal Solanki, and in part by personal experience running a reclaimed vintage clothing brand – experiencing first hand the scale of unwanted and unsellable clothing waste.

What has been the best part of your entrepreneurial journey?

Being able to be my own boss, lead projects, and the direction of the business, whilst being able to experiment with R&D in the background.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs just starting their journey?

Start with a dedicated team instead of going alone.

What support would be most beneficial for your business at this stage?  What are you looking for help on?

Funding opportunities, being put in front of investors, grant writing support, retail support, advertising, and brand exposure.

Where can we find more information about your business?

Visit my website at www.denimolite.com for more information and for products.

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