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Sustainable performance fibers company Werewool raises $3.7 million led by Material Impact and Sofinnova Partners

Werewool won the prestigious ELLE & Polestar Design Towards Zero Award

Our mission as a company is to make the fashion industry compatible with nature.”
— Chui-Lian Lee, Co-founder and CEO
BROOKLYN, NY, USA, May 10, 2023/ -- Werewool, a pioneer of sustainable performance fibers, announced a $3.7M seed funding led by Material Impact and Sofinnova Partners to further the company’s mission to produce biodegradable fibers with protein-based color and performance properties. The funds will be used to develop the company’s first product, protein fibers that can be spun into yarns, expand manufacturing capabilities, and grow the team.

Werewool fibers have the potential to eliminate the need for petroleum-based raw materials, synthetic dyes, and toxic finishing processes that make the textile industry one of the largest contributors to accelerating climate change. Instead of reliance on these conventional methods and materials, Werewool uses protein structure to create these qualities. The technology is co-patented between the Fashion Institute of Technology and Columbia University.

“Our mission as a company is to make the fashion industry compatible with nature," said Chui-Lian Lee, co-founder and CEO of Werewool. “Our team looks at the textile industry holistically considering the end of life at the beginning of life – our goal is for our fibers to decompose into nutrients for a healthier ecosystem. We are excited to be growing and are looking to fill key leadership roles in the company with people who can contribute to our team’s vision for a truly circular textile economy.”

The company has been recognized by the fashion industry for their innovation to prevent microfiber pollution and protect the planet. Werewool has won several awards including the H&M Foundation Global Change Award, the Conservation X Labs’ Microfiber Innovation Challenge, and most recently the ELLE & Polestar Design Toward Zero Award. "We celebrate Werewool for their innovative work with developing protein-based fibers. Their solution helps break the textile industry's dependence on, among other things, extractive raw materials, harmful dyes, and plastics. It then has the potential to de facto reduce negative impact on a number of environmental areas if it can be scaled and used in the right way," says Fredrika Klarén, Polestar's Head of Sustainability and jury member for the Design Towards Zero Award.

"We believe that biology will play an increasingly important role in the future of clothing and are excited to partner with Werewool in their mission to bring sustainable and biodegradable fibers to market,” said Michael Krel, Partner at Sofinnova Partners.

Material Impact sees the investment in Werewool as core to its thesis of leveraging the power of material science to usher the fashion industry into the next generation of bio-manufacturing.

“At Material Impact, we seek out deep tech innovation that has the capacity to solve enduring, large-scale, real-world problems,” said Corinna Chen, Partner at Material Impact. “Werewool’s revolutionary fiber development platform offers the textile industry a breakthrough approach to sustainable and functional textiles.”

This announcement comes at a time when the textile industry is one of the largest contributors to microplastic pollution. The plastic synthetic fibers used today employ non-biodegradable, harmful plasticizers that accumulate toxic chemicals, impacting biodiversity and human health.

About Werewool
Werewool is a women-led biotech company using the principles of biomimicry to engineer high performance, protein-based textile fibers for the fashion industry. Werewool’s fibers offer a sustainable alternative to conventional synthetic fibers with properties including vibrant structural color, strength, stretch, and moisture management.

About Sofinnova Partners
Sofinnova Partners is a leading European venture capital firm in life sciences, specializing in healthcare and sustainability. Based in Paris, London and Milan, the firm brings together a team of professionals from all over the world with strong scientific, medical and business expertise. Sofinnova Partners is a hands-on company builder across the entire value chain of life sciences investments, from seed to later-stage. The firm actively partners with ambitious entrepreneurs as a lead or cornerstone investor to develop transformative innovations that have the potential to positively impact our collective future.

Founded in 1972, Sofinnova Partners is a deeply established venture capital firm in Europe, with 50 years of experience backing over 500 companies and creating market leaders around the globe. Today, Sofinnova Partners has over €2.5 billion under management. For more information, please visit:

About Material Impact:
Material Impact is a champion of the bravest ideas for the future, building deep tech companies powered by material science that solve enduring, large-scale, real-world problems. Learn more at

About ELLE & Polestar Design Towards Zero Award
The ELLE & Polestar Design Towards Zero Award celebrates and turns the spotlight on designers and companies who work with innovative and circular materials within the fashion industry, taking a broad approach towards solutions that are scalable and applicable across industries.

Alexa Horwitz
Material Impact