Dr Gregory Altman & Dr Rebecca Lacouture are the co-founders of green chemistry company Evolved By Nature. The company was put on the fashion map in early 2019 when Chanel acquired a minority stake. Using technology to champion fashion’s toxic chemical problem, the co-founder duo has received much acclaim for its pioneering research and trademarked Activated Silk. When paired with other materials, it revolutionises garment production.
Before founding Boston-based Evolved By Nature, Dr Altman and Dr Lacouture combined their backgrounds in biotechnology and biomedical engineering to create Serica Technologies, an implantable medical device company, in 1998. In 2010, the company, focused on silk fibre-based implantable devices for soft tissue repair, was acquired by global pharmaceutical company Allergan plc.
Following Lacouture’s diagnosis with ovarian cancer in her 20s, the pair developed a desire to leverage the properties of natural chemicals to replace toxic and carcinogenic ingredients often hidden in textiles. The pair developed the first FDA-approved natural silk fibre medical device to aid soft tissue reconstruction under Serica Technologies in 2008. In 2013, the pair co-founded Silk Inc., which was renamed Evolved By Nature in 2019.
Evolved By Nature holds patents for an array of silk molecular configurations, with Altman heading strategy, marketing and innovation and Lacouture serving as president and chief operating officer, leading development, engineering and operations. As of April 2019, Evolved By Nature has raised $51 million in funding to date with a diverse group of investors, including Jeffrey Vinik, The Kraft Group, Roy P. Disney and Chanel. The company also announced expansion plans for late 2019, collaborating with undisclosed fashion and skincare brands, while Activated Silk itself is an ingredient of two skincare brands, Silk Therapeutics and LabGrab. In June 2019, Evolved By Nature partnered with London’s Harrods Pharmacy, making its debut with an exclusive collection.