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Stylus Changemakers 2022: Five Minutes with Saltyco

Published 17 November 2022

Author
Ruth Slater

We launched Stylus Changemakers in 2020 to celebrate and support the next generation of creators and innovators who are making a difference and driving positive change. In this series of interviews, we sit down with our class of 2022 to uncover more about them and their businesses, and hear about their experience of being a Stylus...

Here, we speak with Julian Ellis-Brown, co-founder and chief executive of materials science company Saltyco, which makes climate-friendly textiles by actively healing damaged ecosystems through its innovative supply chain.

 

What was the reason for starting your business, and the driving force behind your mission?

[Many] textile supply chains are currently highly degenerative. They produce too much carbon, are damaging our land, and making our world less biodiverse. At Saltyco, we’ve made it our mission to transform these degenerative supply chains into [more] regenerative ones.

 

We do this by working to regenerate damaged wetlands, sequestering carbon back into the land, and improving biodiversity, whilst simultaneously growing a native plant that we can turn into planet-positive textiles. Through this, we hope to inset sustainability, resilience and biodiversity back into textile supply chains and begin to turn the tide [on the negative effect the textile industry can have].

 

What has been your proudest moment since starting your business?

This year, [Saltyco] has performed its first scaled harvest, and it was a uniquely special moment being able to see the full journey of our mission in operation. This means being in a re-wetted peatland, where biodiversity was rife: birdlife, insects and plant species taking back land that has previously been drained and damaged. This is by far the best part of what we do – seeing the land heal and the small part we play in enabling that to happen.

 

How do you try to ensure sustainability is at the heart of everything you do?

Saltyco sits across a long, complex textile supply chain that has many touchpoints, most of which are currently environmentally detrimental. We’ve challenged ourselves to look at each one of these touchpoints and see how we can transform [them] to be more environmentally positive.

 

A good example is our plant choice, which cannot just sequester carbon, but [also] rebuild peat, reduce flood risk and manage nutrient run-off. Saltyco also goes further than this, pushing to shorten our supply chains, use biodegradable packaging, [and] create new textiles. 

 

What were your expectations when you became a Stylus Changemaker, and how would you describe your experience so far? 

It’s a real privilege to become a Stylus Changemaker. Stylus is evidently a company that is leading the way in trend forecasting, and we are delighted to be associated [alongside] so many other innovative missions! Trend forecasting and research are key to any young start-up; it comes into so many aspects of running an early-stage business, from building new pitch decks to making key strategic decisions.

 

"Being a Stylus Changemaker has provided us [with] access to tools and knowledge that have widened and deepened the understanding of the sectors we touch, and directly influenced the way we communicate [with] the stakeholders we work with each day.”

 

Below: Saltyco team at their latest harvest.

Here, we speak with Julian Ellis-Brown, co-founder and chief executive of materials science company Saltyco, which makes climate-friendly textiles by actively healing damaged ecosystems through its innovative supply chain.

 

What was the reason for starting your business, and the driving force behind your mission?

[Many] textile supply chains are currently highly degenerative. They produce too much carbon, are damaging our land, and making our world less biodiverse. At Saltyco, we’ve made it our mission to transform these degenerative supply chains into [more] regenerative ones.

 

We do this by working to regenerate damaged wetlands, sequestering carbon back into the land, and improving biodiversity, whilst simultaneously growing a native plant that we can turn into planet-positive textiles. Through this, we hope to inset sustainability, resilience and biodiversity back into textile supply chains and begin to turn the tide [on the negative effect the textile industry can have].

 

What has been your proudest moment since starting your business?

This year, [Saltyco] has performed its first scaled harvest, and it was a uniquely special moment being able to see the full journey of our mission in operation. This means being in a re-wetted peatland, where biodiversity was rife: birdlife, insects and plant species taking back land that has previously been drained and damaged. This is by far the best part of what we do – seeing the land heal and the small part we play in enabling that to happen.

 

How do you try to ensure sustainability is at the heart of everything you do?

Saltyco sits across a long, complex textile supply chain that has many touchpoints, most of which are currently environmentally detrimental. We’ve challenged ourselves to look at each one of these touchpoints and see how we can transform [them] to be more environmentally positive.

 

A good example is our plant choice, which cannot just sequester carbon, but [also] rebuild peat, reduce flood risk and manage nutrient run-off. Saltyco also goes further than this, pushing to shorten our supply chains, use biodegradable packaging, [and] create new textiles. 

 

What were your expectations when you became a Stylus Changemaker, and how would you describe your experience so far? 

It’s a real privilege to become a Stylus Changemaker. Stylus is evidently a company that is leading the way in trend forecasting, and we are delighted to be associated [alongside] so many other innovative missions! Trend forecasting and research are key to any young start-up; it comes into so many aspects of running an early-stage business, from building new pitch decks to making key strategic decisions.

 

"Being a Stylus Changemaker has provided us [with] access to tools and knowledge that have widened and deepened the understanding of the sectors we touch, and directly influenced the way we communicate [with] the stakeholders we work with each day.”

 

Below: Saltyco team at their latest harvest.

Want to know more?

Find out more about the Stylus Changemakers initiative and meet the full 2022 cohort.

Want to know more?

Find out more about the Stylus Changemakers initiative and meet the full 2022 cohort.