Pushing Material Boundaries: Isaac Nichelson and Circular Systems

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Isaac Nichelson is a creative leader and sustainability entrepreneur. Through his 25 years of experience in the apparel industry, he has founded and formed multiple companies. He is known for his passion for innovative materials and drive to find a smarter future for fashion. Along with his own businesses, Isaac constantly collaborates with sustainability leaders around the world and has been a speaker at Copenhagen Fashion Summit, WGSN Techstyle Futures, Levi’s Collaboratory, and MADISONS founder Kristine’s Innovative Materials Exhibit at FIDM in 2016.

For nearly a decade, Isaac and his team have been consulting and connecting manufacturers, brands, and retailers in order to create sustainable fashion. Sustainable Source Solutions (or S3) was founded by Isaac and has engineered a “powerful and comprehensive network of approved System Partners” to connect with members of the fashion industry. While S3 has continued to thrive, Isaac’s newest venture has brought a fresh round of attention to innovative textiles.

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Circular Systems S.P.C. (Social Purpose Corporation) describes itself as a “clean-tech new materials company, focused on the development of innovative circular and regenerative technologies.” Established in 2017, the company is committed to developing original materials that go beyond zero waste practices and help to create a safer environment for our planet and its people. For the psat couple of years the Circular Systems team has been creating new technologies such as Texloop, Agraloop, and Orbital. These are processes which turn waste into fiber, therefore actually creating less waste altogether. Agraloop has become the most acclaimed technology from the company.

Circular Systems creates material from crop residue caused by the farming of hemp, flax, pineapples, bananas and sugarcane. They claim that the leftovers from these five crops alone could produce 250 million tons of fiber, more than two and a half times the current demand. Forbes

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Last year the cutting-edge corporation won the H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award for their Agraloop Biofibre technology. This exciting product turns otherwise forgotten food waste into fiber for high-quality garments which Circular Systems boasts are able to be created in a “cost competitive and scalable way.” The technology uses hemp seed, flax seed, pineapple leaves, banana tree, and cane bagasse to create these new fibers. Along with clothing, Agraloop can turn waste into packaging, organic fertilizer, and bio-energy. The possibilities seem to be only growing for this new product.

Isaac and his fellow unconventional thinkers are taking the fashion world by storm with their inspiring sustainable solutions. While it is still an uphill battle to turn the wasteful industry into an earth-conscious sector, it is motivating to hear of the products and processes that Isaac, Circular Systems, and Sustainable Source Solutions are putting into practice.