After a rigorous selection process carried out by 35 international experts and decision makers from research, business and government, the finalists of this year’s LAUNCH Circular Innovation Challenge were presented in front of a large audience. Sympatex, a pioneer in sustainable functional textiles and a LAUNCH partner, lend its support to the selection of the finalists during the two-day international LAUNCH Forum in Bentonville, Arkansas (US). The objective of the international LAUNCH network is to foster innovative trailblazers in the field of sustainability whose creative ideas and projects for establishing a circular economy stand out. The LAUNCH Forum sponsors are active in a wide range of industries. In addition to Sympatex, sponsors in the textile industry include the US-based VF Group, which owns The North Face, Icebreaker, Timberland and other companies.
The objective of LAUNCH is to connect the dots between the initial idea and the final, successful establishment of a sustainable innovation on the market. While traversing this challenging path, the winners receive financial support and advice from the experienced members of the international LAUNCH network. A total of 125 start-ups and young companies from 36 countries signed up for this year’s LAUNCH challenge. And they all have one thing in common: through their innovative and courageous ideas, they stand out among the crowd and shy away from no risk in using their sustainable products and services to convey to their customers and society the need for a circular economy and how it can be achieved.
In the final round for instance, one of the nine finalists is Worn Again Technologies, a young British start-up and pioneer in avoiding textile waste. With its polymer recycling technology, the company supports the global textile industry’s urgent and necessary efforts to create a circular economy for textiles.
“There is no alternative to changing our linear economic mindset to one that is focused on a circular economy. As a B-Corp certified company, we believe it’s our responsibility to do our part in fostering sustainability – and that means beyond the borders of our company and the industry as well. We view LAUNCH as the ideal platform for further establishing circular economy models in our society,” explains Dr. Rüdiger Fox, CEO at Sympatex Technologies. “We’re looking forward to working together with the finalists and helping them realize their innovations through our partnership,” adds Fox.