New York-based sustainable bio-material producer TômTex has raised $4.15m in funding, with the latest seed round of $2.25m led by Happiness Capital, alongside other partners including SOSV, Parley for the Oceans, and MIH Capital. Founder Uyen Tran led the fundraising effort.
TômTex uses raw chitosan, a biopolymer found in seafood shells and mushrooms, to create its 100% biodegradable materials, including Series WS and new Series M made from mushroom waste. The company’s inherent scalability comes from using existing food waste matter to create its material rather than lab-growing new material.
Tran, a trained designer, worked with Dauphinette, Di Pesta, Maitrepierre and Peter Do to pioneer TômTex’s proprietary materials. The funds will be used to grow TômTex’s Brooklyn-based team with key leadership roles and expand manufacturing capabilities.
TômTex’s versatility is demonstrated by collaborations with high fashion designers such as Peter Do, Dauphinette, Di Petsa and Maitrepierre for runway pieces at New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week shows. The materials can be custom-moulded, stamped, 3D-printed or embossed in different animal leather-style patterns.
Eric Ng, General Partner at Happiness Capital, said: “We are thrilled to be part of TômTex’s journey. Their biomaterial technology is a game-changer not just for its viability in the market but also for its sustainability.”
Tien Nguyen, General Partner at Earth Venture Capital added: “As you read this, you likely have at least four synthetic leather items which are, in fact, plastic. These items will persist in our environment for centuries. We are incredibly proud to support TômTex to address this problem.”
TômTex’s mission is to simultaneously address textile waste and food waste with one clean, affordable solution. Founder Uyen Tran witnessed first-hand the impact of textile pollution from polyester and synthetic garments in her native Vietnam while also seeing nearly 1 million tonnes of aquaculture waste discarded annually in the country. Beyond this, Tran has expanded the potential of chitosan by offering a new regenerative source made from mushrooms in addition to seashell waste.