In this blog post, we are honoured to have Amorpol Huvanandana, the Co-Founder of Moreloop, to share his experience and insights on operating Moreloop. His vision is to transform waste landfills into a sustainable material market.
During the last 20 years, the environmental impacts of the textile industry have received growing public attention have forced manufacturers to reduce carbon footprint. In fact, a report by Kant (2012) revealed that 20% of the world’s industrial water pollution is caused by the fashion industry. Over 8000 toxic chemicals are used worldwide to turn raw materials into the textiles we all end up wearing and to aggravate the situation, the U.S. alone sends about 21 billion pounds of textile waste to landfills every year..
What do we do with all the textile waste?
“If waste is disposed and separated accordingly, a new market can emerge.” Amorpol Huvanandana from Moreloop articulated. This then forms industrial symbiosis, to stimulate a more efficient production through a better use of raw materials and the re-use of waste and by-products, he continued.
What is Moreloop?
Moreloop is an online platform that curates surplus fabric from large garment of 50 yards – 1000 yards long and textile factories and creates an ecosystem whereby local SMEs can purchase quality fabric at a reasonable price. This closes the loop in fashion industry whilst extending the lifespan of the fabric to enable economic longevity.
We opened our curiosity door to Mr Huvanandana on his recollections of first starting Moreloop.
Growing up, Huvanandana has always been an environmental advocate. He has always been passionate in making changes for the environment.
What really prompted Huvanandana to build his own start-up was a book Resource Revolution: How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century, shows how to take what is being seen as a worldwide crisis and turn it into the biggest business opportunity of the past one hundred years.
Instead of creating consumer waste, he distinguished himself from the competitors in the market by transforming industrial waste to environmental-friendly products.
“Initially, I wanted to create an online space for leftover industrial waste, mainly leftover / surplus materials from all industries. While I was testing the waters, Amm (who is also co-founder of Moreloop) said there are surplus fabric piled up inside her factory. I realized that was a perfect starting place as it fits the criteria assumption; sunset industry, sizable (scaleable), there is an existing market and the waste is in a readily logisticable.” He recounted.
He soon realised how fashion industry has an alarmingly disastrous impact on the environment; which gives rise to a new market – sustainable fashion.
With that in mind, Moreloop is born.
What is your business model?
“Our priority is to be profitable as we require extensive research and development in curating our fabrics. With Moreloop as an agent, commission fee is incurred with 20% of the cost procuring waste. 20% of profit is to invested in our online circular market and our marketing promotional strategies.
Due to the lack of fabric waste awareness in Thailand, there is an excess supply to which we had to start off with slow sales. As time goes by, our business model has evolved as we manage to acquire more resources and receive more requests from companies and institution to create tangible impact using Moreloop fabric.
Moreloop fabric’s marketing strategy primarily aims to prevent excess production thereby reducing overall carbon footprint. As most garment mills in Thailand is export quality, Moreloop acts as a gateway for sustainability green companies by tackling waste on the export industry.
We have 2 business models:
1. Buy and sell waste fabric
2. Create new products from waste fabric
We are still in the growth stage as there was 8 months of study before launching Moreloop, and we are happy to announce that we are celebrating our 1st anniversary since its launch.
Lastly, he concluded that in a buyer and seller environment like Moreloop, revenue and impact can go in tandem, which makes it a win-win situation for both parties in the circular economy (CE).
How do the people in the CE community contribute and is CE being accepted by the people of Thailand?
“Landscape for CE is growing and is used as a buzzword for solution especially in large corporation. However, the term “CE” still remains foreign to the public and often being misunderstood as ‘recycle’ and it is not a popular solution to the problem. Environment enthusiasts might have heard about it, but there is still a lack of understanding of the term.” He explained.
With Moreloop being launched, public perception is growing which will make circular economy a reality. In addition, Moreloop is extending the CE concept whilst making it tangible for Thais to understand as we aspire to be the showcase of the country.
Where will Moreloop stand 5 years from now?
“Moreloop aims to start to be profitable, with revenue growing on a low margin. The company will focus more on impact and education first by measuring how much waste is circulated back into economy. The measured circulated waste so far 2 tonnes and the goal will be 1000 tonnes in 5 years. However, there is 350,000 tonnes of surplus fabric in Thailand in a year. Therefore, there is a need for more competition as Moreloop will not be able to do it alone. We are happy to know that this model has started to inspire more people to take initiative and we welcome healthy and ethical competition.” He said.
“Ultimately, our goal for Moreloop is to eradicate all surplus fabric and in 5 years, we aspire to be the top circular company in fabric industry with more and more factories are keen to collaborate with Moreloop. Development of designs for products and platform will be the next phase for Moreloop as we will collaborate with local designers to creates new series of products. We have to keep in mind that CE is only one of the solutions as there will be different approach and business model for different kind of resources and wastes.” He exclaimed.
How will Moreloop ignite the change in awareness in Thailand?
Moreloop aims to be a real example of CE startup where we put the CE concept in all fabric problems the industry is facing. Now, people would actually understand CE in action as this impact of action would last longer than just texts and concepts. In order to increase public understanding, Moreloop will calculate carbon footprints as it is a more tangible way such as using data like nutrition table to increase awareness. In the future, we are able to generate a system where each fabric has data attached to it, how much carbon emission saved, etc.
The fact that Mereka is approaching Moreloop means that this awareness is happening on a regional scale. Once it grows, we have to keep the momentum going as there is no information from factories of the surplus fabrics up to this day. CE is a wonderful concept; Moreloop embraces the principles and the results have been fruitful.
If you would like to know more about CE, do come join OSCE Days Festival happening on the 20-21st July! We have 4 Bicara sessions, 20 workshops and diverse vendors! You wouldn’t want to miss!