Recover, a materials science company that produces sustainable premium recycled cotton fiber and cotton fiber blends, has received $100 million in minority equity capital. The funding comes from the Sustainable Investing Business within Goldman Sachs Asset Management, alongside majority shareholder STORY3 Capital Partners.
The company plans to use the funds to accelerate its global expansion and production capacity, with the goal of allowing more rapid adoption of sustainability initiatives by apparel companies. Recover serves global retailers, brands and vendors including Primark, Inditex, C&A, Revolve and Lands’ End. The company has opened new manufacturing hubs in Pakistan and Bangladesh, with additional hubs in Bangladesh and Vietnam due to open in the near term.
Recover’s proprietary recycled cotton fiber reduces the carbon and water intensity of the apparel supply chain, which has been identified as a leading contributor to climate change and other negative environmental impacts. The new investment will help Recover increase its production to more than 350,000 metric tons of recycled cotton fiber per year by 2026, saving up to 5 trillion liters of water annually — the equivalent of the drinking water consumed by over 4.5 billion people each year. Additionally, the expanded capacity will support significant reductions of carbon emissions, energy and land use relative to conventional cotton fiber.
“Goldman Sachs is committed to partnering with innovative businesses that help drive sustainability,” said Letitia Webster, Head of Sustainability for Private Investing at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in a statement. “Recover is a leading disruptor in the apparel and textiles space with much-needed sustainable solutions grounded in materials science.” As part of the transaction, Webster will join the Board of Directors of Recover.
“Recover is helping create a sustainable future by solving a colossal environmental issue and we are overjoyed to partner with Goldman Sachs to accelerate our growth,” said Alfredo Ferre, fourth-generation family steward and CEO of Recover in a statement. Ben Malka, Operating Partner at STORY3 Capital Partners and Executive Chairman of Recover, stated that “Recover has perfected the art and science of scaled production of sustainable recycled cotton fiber over more than 70 years across multiple generations of the Ferre family in Spain. Today, Recover offers a solution grounded in proprietary IP that provides cost-competitive, maximum-performance recycled cotton fiber for both rotor and ring-spinning applications.”
Individual brands like Rothy’s have long committed to producing apparel sustainably, in its case by recycling plastic water bottles. Additionally, the new Fashion Climate Fund, with participation by H&M and lululemon, is designed to create a collaborative funding model between philanthropy and corporate entities that could unlock an estimated $2 billion in blended capital to support sustainability initiatives.