Phat Plastic

System design, Enterprise, Mechanical Engineering, UI/UX
Saym Hussain
Puja Soneji
Harvey Upton
Ruben Portz
Niki Fotiou
Imperial College London Innovation Pitch 2020
Phat Plastic is a fully circular system that helps fashion brands to transition into the circular economy. It consists of three offerings: material, manufacturing and system management. Phat Plastic uses a bio-synthetic textile derived from waste sources to produce garments using electrospinning. A return scheme enables garments to be chemically recycled back into production.
The Problem
Fashion contributes to 10% of global CO2 emissions, with 87% of garments incinerated or sent to landfills. The fashion industry is causing immense ecological damage through pollution, deforestation, and desertification. Consumers are starting to become aware of this: 3 in 5 consider environmental impact important in making purchase decisions. They are concerned about greenwashing and struggling to identify genuinely sustainable brands. It is therefore not only an environment-benefitting but also a strategic decision for businesses to achieve genuine sustainability. However, small brands are struggling to make the transition due to the linear and fragmented ecosystem, unsustainable textiles and costly reverse logistics. They do not have the technology, knowledge, and infrastructure to adapt. To help them make the switch, we developed Phat Plastic.
What is Phat Plastic
Phat Plastic is a closed-loop production and management solution that helps luxury brands transition towards circularity. It encompasses three innovations for the different periods of the garment lifecycle. The fibres are made from PHA, a bio-polymer sourced from organic waste streams that produce 80% less CO2 than comparable polyesters. Garments are electrospun directly onto moulds, which allows for a one-step process from fibre to garment, and enables novel designs. Environmental data is encoded into each garment and managed within the blockchain, allowing for the transparent trade of fashion items. At the end of life, garments can be returned, chemically recycled and incorporated into future production.