Xefco raises $10m for sustainable textile technologies


Textile technology developer Xefco has raised $10.5 million in its latest funding round led by Australian deep technology fund Main Sequence Ventures backing its technology to reduce textile emissions.

Xefco has been commercialising its patented water-free textile finishing and dyeing solution, Ausora, aiming to create a greener supply chain for the fashion industry.

Other new investors joined Main Sequence in the funding including Breakthrough Victoria, Virescent Ventures, investing on behalf of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and existing shareholders, Investible and Voyagers Climate-Tech Fund.

The funds will help grow the Xefco team, as well as tackle pollution from textile finishing and dyeing which is responsible for a fifth of global industrial water pollution and three percent of global carbon emissions.

Textile manufacture is also the second largest industrial user of water after agriculture.

CEO and Founder of Xefco Tom Hussey (pictured) said: “The existing wet processes used to put colour and other functional properties on fabrics have the biggest environmental footprint of the entire fashion supply chain.

“These outdated, resource-intensive operations have not changed in centuries.

“It’s destroying our waterways and our planet – we’re determined to create a greener supply chain for the fashion industry.”

Co-founded in 2018 by Hussey and Brian Conolly, Xefco has spent six years advancing innovative solutions for an industry that has largely deserted Australian manufacturing for overseas locations.

The company’s first product XReflex, which increases the thermal efficiency of insulated clothing, is already used by leading apparel and fashion brands including Zara and The North Face.

With Ausora, Xefco has developed a way of dyeing and finishing textiles without water.

Using its unique shower plasma process, Ausora produces the same look, feel and performance properties without the environmental footprint, according to Xefco.

Ausora’s process can be used on any textiles including natural and synthetic materials.

The technology is already being used in a number of pilot projects with large sportswear, outdoor and fashion brands.

Hussey said: “Our Ausora systems have been designed to plug and play into existing supply chains to help brands and manufacturers easily transition to a cleaner textile process.

“Whereas, compared to conventional wet dyeing and finishing, our process eliminates the use of water and cuts energy, chemical consumption and cost.

“Our technology has the potential to stop millions of tonnes of waste entering our waterways and CO2 from entering our planet.”

Xefco is based at Deakin University’s ManuFutures hub at the Waurn Ponds campus in Geelong,Victoria.

Xefco has received grants including up to $4 million from Deakin’s Recycling and Clean Energy Commercialisation Hub, supported by the Australian Government’s inaugural Trailblazer Universities Program.

This builds on backing a key partner in the ARC Research Hub for Future Fibres at Deakin’s co-located Institute for Frontier Materials and previously from the Innovative Manufacturing CRC (IMCRC).

Investment Manager at Main Sequence Jun Qu said: “Xefco addresses an often-overlooked element of the fashion supply chain, one that is critical to global climate repair.

“There’s no sustainable future without sustainable fashion and we see immense potential for Xefco to accelerate the decarbonisation of the global textile industry.”

Pictured: Tom Hussey with Xefco’s technology

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