Gen Phoenix is ELeather's new name, links with Tapestry, Dr Martens
ELeather, the large-scale producer of sustainable recycled leather has rebranded itself as Gen Phoenix following an $18 million funding round “to further the company’s mission to create premium and eco-conscious alternative leather”. And key leather users Dr Martens and Tapestry took part in the funding.
The new name for the UK-based firm is “inspired by the cyclical regeneration of the phoenix” as the company “gives new life to leather waste by transforming it into a sustainable alternative”.
And the new money will allow it “to expand into new consumer-facing markets, after making significant impact to date in tackling the world’s large-scale waste problem”.
The investment was led by Material Impact, which tracks “inception-stage companies that are pioneering products to address urgent human needs”. But it’s also interesting that a wider spread of businesses that use leather also took part, including Dr Martens and Coach and Kate Spade owner Tapestry, as mentioned, plus InMotion Ventures (the investment arm of Jaguar Land Rover).
The company — which includes Nike among its customers — said that “at a time venture investors are scaling back funding, Gen Phoenix’s success raising capital underscores the collective need to prioritise and expand sustainable practices to appeal to increasingly eco-conscious consumers”.
It will now be scaling product innovations to create “new leather alternatives including those that are plant-based, as well as post-industrial and post-consumer waste leather; reaching new partners in luxury fashion and footwear via its Dr Martens and Coach link-ups; and deepening relationships with existing partners in the transportation industry while forging new connections in the automotive space”.
Those are certainly ambitious goals as it moves beyond its core area of expertise into areas being looked at by a number of other innovators at present. Demand for those “new leather alternatives” is likely to soar as both brands and their customers switch on to the possibility out there and the need to make changes in the fashion industry.
Dr Martens’ CEO Kenny Wilson said the partnership supports the footwear specialist’s wider sustainability strategy.
“A key part of this strategy is integrating more sustainable and traceable materials without compromising quality, style, comfort, or durability,” he said. “Gen Phoenix’s tech platform will allow us to introduce materials into parts of our ranges that will help us progress our commitment for all our footwear to be made from sustainable materials and achieving net zero by 2040.”
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