for forward thinkers.
Using cutting-edge technology modeled on nature’s own design, Polybion™ creates premium, high-performance biomaterials from fruit waste.
We are growing a better future one cell at a time.
From linear to circular
From leftover to constructive
From leather to Celium™
We believe biology is the best tool to face our global challenges. We use locally produced agro-industrial fruit waste as raw material to craft a sustainable leather alternative. By manufacturing with the building blocks of life and circularizing supply chains, we produce a superior material while prioritizing our planet.
Natural systems are cyclical; waste becomes nutrients that initiate new growth. By learning from nature, Polybion™ developed a production model that is not linear but a loop, simultaneously alleviating three major environmental problems: livestock, food waste, and plastic. This represents a paradigm shift from centuries of resource-mining practices to the regenerative cultivation of resources. Polybion™ is proud to be leading this charge.
Founded by brothers Axel and Alexis Gómez Ortigoza with Bárbara González Rolón, PhD, Polybion™ is a diverse group of biotechnologists, chemists, biologists, engineers, financiers, creatives, designers, and political scientists. We take inspiration from natural processes and organisms, and we share a common dream to create a better world.
Impact requires scale
Bio innovations and sustainable solutions face a common challenge: scalability.
Most leather consumer goods today are either animal-based or petroleum-derived, and by 2030, the consumer class will reach nearly 5 billion people. Next-generation materials can only impact long-term global sustainability if they are affordable and available on a mass scale.
Scalability is at the core of Polybion™'s premise. Industrializing cellular agriculture to grow our leather alternative Celium™ has been a cornerstone of the company since its inception. With this mission in mind, we built FOAK (first-of-a-kind) I, the world's first industrial-scale facility for the production of bacterial cellulose. FOAK I will reach an annual production capacity of 1.1M sq.ft of Celium™ by the end of 2023. That’s the equivalent of 275,000 luxury handbags.
The next industrial revolution comes from nature.
Cel (derived from the word cellulose, the most abundant organic polymer on Earth) + ium (the Latin suffix used in chemical elements)
Celium™ is a premium alternative to animal-based leather and petroleum-derived synthetics composed of bacterial cellulose. A versatile textile with endless design possibilities, it can be customized by color, graining, embossing, and water resistance—all while preserving its exceptional strength.
Vegan and organic, Celium™ weighs less than cowhide, and we control the thickness through its growth, making it easy to tailor. Due to its biological nature, each piece of Celium™ is unique and distinct as a fingerprint, lending it the hallmark of luxury.
Nature chose cellulose to structure many of its most precious creations. We’ve captured that wisdom in Celium™.
We industrialized cellular agriculture to biofabricate Celium™. Combining material science with bioengineering, our technology is scalable, modular, and high yielding.
In cellular agriculture, cells from fungi, bacteria, or mammals consume nutrients in a sterile environment that promotes growth. We grow Celium™ by feeding bacteria with agro-industrial fruit waste. But first, we set up the perfect environment for the cells to self-organize and they create the cellulose structure as a metabolic by-product. Once formed, Celium’s cell-based membrane undergoes a sustainable stabilization process to achieve its high-performance characteristics.
Our production model is EPA, REACH, and ZDHC compliant and concentrated within a 30-mile radius, dramatically reducing our carbon footprint. There is currently enough of the fruit waste we use to produce 168,000,000 square feet of Celium™ annually (and we have identified three other types of local fruit waste equally abundant). With zero hazardous chemicals released in any part of the process, nor significant biomass outputs between growth cycles, Celium™ is as circular as it gets.
Polybion Welcomes Fashion for Good as an Official Partner and Investor
- Published on
- October 10, 2023
We were thrilled to welcome Fashion for Good's Innovation Analyst, Carolin Przibylla, to our “state-of-the-art” biomanufacturing facility, FOAK I (First-Of-A-Kind).
FOAK I is where the magic happens. Here, we produce Celium™, our leather alternative at an industrial scale. Our strategic location near central Mexico's bustling fruit-packing industry allows us to utilize the fruit waste generated in just two days to sustain our production for an entire year. It's a testament to our commitment to circular economy principles.
Our custom made bioreactors are where the transformation begins, nurturing bacterial cellulose sheets of up to 1.40 square meters over a span of 7-25 days, depending on the desired thickness.
This raw material then undergoes further refinement using traditional animal leather equipment and optimized chromium-free green chemistry, achieving the remarkable outcomes that Fashion for Good had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand.
What truly sets us apart is our vertical integration approach.
Our in-house tanning and finishing processes offer boundless possibilities to enhance the raw bacterial nano cellulose sheets, giving rise to a unique array of textures, colors, and properties that set a new standard for sustainable fashion innovation.
Our strategic location, just 30 minutes from the tanning and footwear capital of LATAM, has proven to be pivotal in our transformation processes.
Fashion for Good is the global platform for innovation, enabling disruptive solutions on their journey to scale.. With a mission to address the environmental impact of the fashion industry and make fashion a force for good, it collaborates with leading global fashion brands, manufacturers, and financiers to implement sustainability solutions across the entire supply chain, from the sourcing of raw materials to retail. As our official partner and investor, their credibility and impact are unparalleled, and together, we are shaping a more sustainable future for fashion.
Where innovation meets creativity, the future unfolds.