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welcome to the future of biomaterials

The Sustainable Materials Startup.

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enabling circularity in fashion at scale

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Across rural villages in Africa, smallholder farmers already make up 60% of the rural poor and are the most at risk of being affected by the effects of the climate crisis. Yet, they are throwing away a third of their crops’ value every harvest season as agricultural waste!


Of rural poor are smallholder farmers.

Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, McKinsey & The World Bank.

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Degrade Esfumado

We use more fossil fuels to make clothes than we do to send rockets to space!

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342 Million barrels/year

264 Million barrels/year

Source: European Space Agency.

*We use 1.2 million barrels on rocket launches everyday, thats 264 million barrels per year.

What if we made materials from biowaste instead of fossil fuels?

Biobased Materials.

We're building the technology that turns post-harvest agro-waste from smallholder farmers into bio-based materials.

Working with sugarcane bagasse, a byproduct of the sugar industry in Kenya, into a viable, eco-friendly alternative to polyester: polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), using a Bacillus species for fermentation.

The best part? These textiles are recyclable up to 6 times and will naturally decompose if discarded.

Actual Product Image Representation.

Softer than natural fibres better than plastics



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Fabrics blended with PHA retain their biodegradability, offering a sustainable end-of-life option. Unlike conventional textiles that linger in landfills for centuries, these materials can decompose naturally, minimizing environmental impact.


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Blending adds a layer of water resistance to natural fibers, making them ideal for activewear and outdoor apparel. Think running jackets that repel rain while remaining breathable, or swimsuits that resist chlorine and maintain shape.

20% Higher Tensile Strength.

Blended with natural fibers like cotton, PHA can increase tensile strength by up to 20%, enhancing durability without sacrificing comfort and breathability.

*Compared to virgin polyester production

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Beakers with Branches of Leaves


Turning 70% of the world’s textile waste into new textile and agricultural inputs to increase climate resilience for smallholder farmers across Africa.

How does it work?

CottonCycle is a post-consumer polyester and cellulose recycling system using hydrothermal and dissolution treatment on cotton and polyester blends.

  • Recycled Polyester (rPET): We recover over 97% of polyester fibers, significantly cutting down energy use by 70% compared to virgin PET production. This sustainable approach curbs fossil fuel extraction and reduces the textile industry's carbon footprint.

  • Cellulosic Superabsorbent Polymer (C-SAP): Transforming cotton into a powerful water-retentive aid, C-SAP can absorb 30 times its weight in water, drastically improving soil moisture and boosting cotton yields by up to 15% in water-scarce regions.
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Our Mission.

At Rethread Africa, we are on a mission to revolutionize the fashion industry by creating a closed-loop system, turning challenges into opportunities, and leading the way toward a world where nothing goes to waste.

Our Vision.

Our vision is a future where the fashion industry and the environment coexist harmoniously, fostering a healthier planet for future generations.

Meet the

Rethread Team

We are a group of stubborn optimists who believe in the power of people, the planet, and science. We are always looking at growing with great talent so join us!

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Lined Wireframe Small Landscape Frame


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This Could Be


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Awards & Recognitions.

We Are Not Alone.

3 Nominations for Building A Waste Free Future

First African team & youngest team ever to win the Nobel Prize for Fashion.

What Design Can Do & IKEA Foundation

Social Shifters & Rathbones Investment Group

Be a Part of Our Mission.

At Rethread Africa, we're always on the lookout for exceptional individuals who share our passion for sustainability and the courage to tackle grand challenges. We believe in the power of diverse talents coming together to innovate and drive meaningful change in the fashion industry and beyond. If you're ready to make a significant impact and join a team committed to solving some of the world's most pressing problems, we'd love to hear from you.

Write to us and become a part of our journey towards a sustainable, waste-free future

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Our Commitment to Inclusive Commuties.

Developing any new material takes both time and resources and doing so while being invested in the communities we work in is an extra layer of complexity. Today we have been able to run pilots in a small village called Olare Homa Bay County in Western Kenya. While we are yet to hit profitability, our greatest cost implication is paying farmers for the feedstock we get from them, creating and sustaining jobs in these communities, and re-investing our resources in ensuring that as a social enterprise, we do both well and good. Today, we reinvest a majority of our profits in these communities and we are committed to working on a business model that ensures that this is sustained as we scale with a commitment of >51% of our profits remaining in the local communities we work in.

connect with us

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Centre for Biotechnology and Bioinformatics

University of Nairobi

Waiyaki Way,


Norrsken House Kigali

1 KN 78 St, Kigali


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