Peterborough Based Phoenix Raises £18m to Scale Sustainable Leather Production
Gen Phoenix, the premier creator of sustainable recycled leather at scale, has revealed the news of an $18M funding injection to help them reach their goal of producing top-quality and eco-friendly next-generation materials. Material Impact, a venture capital firm, headed up the investment, with further contributions from Dr. Martens, InMotion Ventures, the financial arm of Jaguar Land Rover, and Tapestry, which encompasses luxury lifestyle brands such as Coach, Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade. The existing investors ETF Partners and the Hermes GPE Environmental Innovation Fund also contributed to the funding round and remain supportive of the company's expansion plans.
Having been first established in 2007, Gen Phoenix (formerly known as ELeather) has had over a decade and a half of experience in creating sustainable recycled leather, and has been a leader in promoting circularity on a large scale. This organisation provides tangible solutions to those looking to achieve their sustainability goals, as opposed to just discussing hypotheticals.
Gen Phoenix has created a way to provide a second life to leather waste and make it into a sustainable material. The title of the company symbolizes the start of a new generation of green materials, with the latest wave of funding contributing to the business and aiming to address the global waste issue. The name is inspired by the continuous renewal of the phoenix.
John Kennedy, the CEO of Gen Phoenix, expressed his excitement to be collaborating with a group of partners with a similar focus on sustainability from diverse industries. He is enthusiastic about spreading their concept of circularity to new areas and delivering top-notch circular material to their customers, allies, and consumers.
Investment Focus Areas:
Expanding Markets: This financial support will facilitate the entrance of Gen Phoenix into the luxury fashion and footwear industries through alliances with prominent consumer brands that share their sustainability ideals and are dedicated to providing their environmentally aware customers with superior, sustainable items.
According to Kenny Wilson, CEO of Dr. Martens, "This is a thrilling collaboration and is consistent with our general plan which emphasizes the sustainability of our products, our influence on the planet and how we treat people." He went on to add that "A key component of this scheme is to include sustainable and traceable materials without compromising quality, style, comfort, or durability. Gen Phoenix's tech platform will permit us to include materials in our collections that will help us fulfil our commitment of making all our footwear from sustainable materials and achieving Net Zero by 2040."
Scott Roe, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Tapestry, said "Tapestry is endeavouring towards a brighter future, one that combines responsibility and sustainability with Tapestry's brand legacy of classic craftsmanship and renowned design." He noted that "A fundamental element of this future is introducing innovation in materials that will allow us to persist in creating items that our customers recognize and trust, while decreasing the environmental effect. Advancing circularity through recycled leather is not only an essential part of our portfolio approach to developing a dependable supply chain, but a business necessity."
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Strengthening Existing Connections: Gen Phoenix will focus on backing current partnerships in the mass transportation sector, including over 250 airline, railroad and bus firms, while drawing in fresh strategic partners in the automotive interiors sector. Gen Phoenix's sustainable recycled leather has been used in more than 4 million seat covers all over the world, and has kept more than 8,000 tons of leather waste from landfills, aiding its strategic brand partners to meet their sustainability objectives.
"It is my honour that our investment fund, InMotion Ventures, has invested in Gen Phoenix: a longstanding collaborator of JLR Design," said Amy Frascella, Materiality Director, Jaguar Land Rover Design, Strategy & Sustainability. "Co-creation with remarkable scale-ups like Gen Phoenix is essential to achieving our vision of sustainable contemporary luxury. In Design, we are constantly seeking for uncompromised innovation in materials, methods and technology that promote the financial, ecological and social values our customers demand. Investing in and preserving novel material technologies will encourage our course to carbon net zero by 2039."
Developing advanced products: Gen Phoenix is looking to move beyond simply recycling leather waste and is investing in creating new products. The patented technology the company has developed can produce 6 million square meters of material per year, using a combination of post-industrial and post-consumer waste, leather offcuts, and plant-based feedstock. With the help of a new state-of-the-art facility, the company will be able to put this technology to use and develop cutting-edge materials on a large scale.
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Material Impact, the lead investor in this round, believes that their investment in Gen Phoenix is essential to their strategy of constructing tech businesses driven by material science to handle long-term, pervasive, and actual issues. Paul Deninger, Operating Partner at Material Impact, is now the Chairman of the Board of Gen Phoenix. Paul's record of success in guiding industry-leading companies towards expansion is a great benefit to Gen Phoenix as they move into the next stage of their development.
Paul Deninger of Material Impact emphasizes the importance of identifying technologies that can make a tangible difference in tackling large-scale issues. He explains that Gen Phoenix stands out in terms of innovation, product quality, cost-effectiveness, customer acceptance and reach, all of which are essential for a business that aspires to bring about meaningful change in the materials sector.
Generation Phoenix is introducing a new generation of sustainable materials. Their patented technology uses leather offcuts that would otherwise go to waste and transforms them into a high-quality, durable recycled leather material. Since 2007, they have been able to keep thousands of tons of materials out of landfills. The adaptable process can be used on a variety of feedstocks, making it possible to achieve large-scale circularity. To find out more, visit http://www.genphoenix.com.
Material Impact is devoted to the most pioneering ideas for the future, engineering in-depth technology companies based on material science that address enduring, global, actual issues. To find out more, visit http://www.materialimpact.com. Material Impact is an advocate for the boldest ideas for the future, constructing tech companies with material science that solve immense, real-world issues.
The Iconic British Brand, Dr. Martens
Beginning in 1960 in Northamptonshire, Dr. Martens was created for workers in need of hard-wearing boots. It soon became a symbol for diverse youth subcultures and connected musical movements, transcending its working-class roots. Now, 60 years later, the company is a part of the FTSE 250 index and their products are worn by people the world over to declare their own individual attitude and strength. To learn more, please go to https://www.drmartens.com/us/en/.
InMotion Ventures is the venture capital branch of Jaguar Land Rover which is a part of their Open Innovation approach. Their investments span from seed stage to series B and cover topics such as electrification, connectivity, digital services, intelligent enterprise, sustainability, talent, and metaverse. Examples of investments include Lyft (exited in 2019), Ascend Elements, Circulor, Envisics, and Bumper. To find out more information about InMotion, visit their website: https://www.inmotionventures.com/.
Tapestry, Inc. is a global house of brands that includes Coach, kate spade new york, and Stuart Weitzman. Each of these brands have their own unique identity but share a commitment to innovation and authenticity. Tapestry works to move customers, empower communities, and make the fashion industry more sustainable. The company also strives to create an equitable, inclusive, and diverse environment. To learn more about Tapestry, visit www.tapestry.com. Additionally, the company's common stock is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TPR.