EEnotech, a California clean tech foundry, has unveiled LifeLabs™, a new company dedicated to commercializing textile patents from Stanford University’s advanced materials lab. Founded by Professor Yi Cui, director of Stanford University’s Precourt Institute for Energy and a 15-year veteran of Stanford’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and Meng Sui, CEO of EEnotech and 4C Air, Inc. as well as a chemist and patent attorney, LifeLabs says it bridges the gap between academic and scientific research and commercially viable textiles to create a more sustainable world. Serving as CEO of LifeLabs Design, Inc. is Scott Mellin, who previously served as director of innovation at The North Face for FutureLight and The Advanced Mountain Kit.
“The future of textiles is not based on lower-cost technology, but on higher sustainability goals and delivering performance benefits,” Mellin said. “LifeLabs believes in a better world through science and design.”
The textile industry is considered one of the worst air polluters and the second-largest consumer of water. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the fashion industry uses about 93 billion cubic meters of water annually – enough to meet the needs of five million people. Also, nearly 20 percent of industrial water pollution is due to the dyeing and treatment of fabrics. Fast fashion has also contributed to global apparel production doubling between 2000 and 2014, and nearly 60 percent of all garments end up in incinerators or landfills within a year of their manufacture. Apparel production accounts for about 10 percent of humanity’s carbon emissions (more than all international flights and ocean shipping combined), and that number is expected to increase by nearly 50 percent by 2030.
LifeLabs and the Life System™ for textiles introduce a unique set of intellectual property and patents that address people’s environments, from mobility to home to work to sports. LifeLabs claims that its patented textiles maximize comfort and performance while saving energy on a personal and global scale. The company promises a new level of sustainability that is said to be unprecedented in the industry. Professor Cui previously developed a low-cost, single-catalyst water splitter to provide a renewable source of clean-burning hydrogen fuel and a new battery electrolyte to boost the performance of electric vehicles. Backed by Stanford research and science, there is no greenwashing in LifeLab’s new sustainability efforts, according to the company officials. The process streamlines the supply chain, uses less energy and materials, and does not pollute the environment with toxic chemicals, they said.