FATES: The Raw Materials

FATES: The Raw Materials

The bioeconomy and its role in mitigating climate change 

Measuring impact of sustainable practices is key to driving effective change. From fashion to furniture, from the clothes we wear to the cars we drive, producing consumer goods results in billions of tonnes of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions – contributing to climate change. Globally the footwear industry produces 700 megatons of CO2eq of GHG emissions every year, up to 40% of the emissions are attributed to raw materials manufacturing and extraction.[1] 

Part of the solution is transitioning to a plant or bio-based economy.  

The bioeconomy can be defined as using renewable biobased resources sustainably to produce food, energy and goods. It allows industries to tap into biomass available from agricultural, forestry feedstocks and waste streams that are critical to achieving a net-zero, sustainable future.  


The power of plants 

Plants are one of the most abundant renewable resources on earth. Nature produces more plant matter in one day than the sum of all the petrochemistry-based materials produced globally per year.[2] Plant-based chemistry is comparable to petrochemicals without the negative impact, plants have emerged as a sustainable alternative such as coconut husk, ground stone fruit pits or lignin. 

The impact of renewable plant-based materials on the environment is far less compared to oil-derived counterparts. By conducting a life cycle analysis, Evoco is able to measure the impact of its plant-based material technology, FATES®, from cradle to gate.  

The results are clear, FATES® reduces GHG emissions at the source by up to 70%; using plant-based raw materials results in a substantial step change. 


FATES® was designed to be feedstock agnostic and adapt to local plant feedstocks across the globe 

FATES® is feedstock agnostic material technology, leveraging raw materials derived from a variety of plant by-products. The technology works with a variety of inputs from agricultural, forestry, by-products and waste. We can adapt to a variety of first and second feedstocks, depending on local supply chains. 


Our feedstock today & regenerative farming  

FATES® current feedstock includes field corn. Field corn widely available, and sustainably cultivated in the North American supply chain.  Our raw material does not compete with the food supply. Our technology uses the low-calorie starch by-products leftover (something humans cannot consume) after the corn is processed for animal feed and human consumption. This Ensures that no potential food source or land is diverted to non-food requirements. Currently dedicated arable land for biopolymers is 0.015% and is estimated to increase to 0.058% in 2026. This figure is still less than 0.1% of total arable land and equates to 0.004% of the land use for food & feed.[3] 

To put things in perspective, a quarter of food grown is discarded, if only one tenth was allocated to biopolymers, it would allow enough raw materials to replace all petrochemical based plastics.[4]

Our path tomorrow

Future feedstocks include biomass materials such as castor oil, nutshell oils and waste residue, lignin, and algae with further potential to use the 2nd generation agricultural wastes. With sustainability the end goal, life cycle analysis of other biomass feedstocks and waste show that there is no guarantee lower environmental impact because of added steps.  

As technology advances, we will continue to monitor and quickly adapt to the most sustainable feedstock options available. 



[1] Quantis. (2018). Measuring Fashion: 2018 Insights from the Environmental Impact of the Global Apparel and Footwear Industries study. Retrieved April 25, 2022, from https://quantis-intl.com/report/measuring-fashion-report/ 

[2] Lupton, M. (2017, May 24). Plant Matter Outweighs Petrochemicals as the Building Blocks for the Future. AZoCleantech. 

[3] European Bioplastics (2021), FAO Stats (2020), nova-Institute (2021), and Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (2019), University of Virginia (2016). Info: www.european-bioplastics.org 

[4] https://www.ifbb-hannover.de/en/answer/is-there-a-conflict-between-production-areas-to-grow-raw-materials-for-bioplastics-and-those-to-grow-crops-for-foodstuffs.html 

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EVOCO Ltd raises CAD $12M in series B funding to scale its plant-based materials platform and support its consumer goods partners in migrating to sustainably sourced feedstocks

EVOCO Ltd raises CAD $12M in series B funding to scale its plant-based materials platform and support its consumer goods partners in migrating to sustainably sourced feedstocks

Toronto, March 27th – Evoco Ltd., a leading research and development company focused on creating sustainable plant-based materials, announced today a successful Series B funding round of CAD $12 million. The investment was led by Circular Innovation Fund- (CIF) – a fund jointly managed by European-based Demeter and North American-based Cycle Capital, joined by new investor Export Development Canada (EDC), and return investor The Stewart Group Limited (SGL).

“We are delighted to contribute to Evoco’s expansion via the Circular Innovation Fund managed by Cycle Capital and Demeter as they continue to leverage agricultural and plant-based feedstocks to create smarter and cleaner consumer products that will bring sustainable solutions to various consumer goods and industrial markets.” said Andrée-Lise Méthot, Founder and Managing Partner at Cycle Capital. “As businesses look to cater towards a growing sustainability-focused consumer base, Evoco’s solutions will help businesses produce more environmentally friendly products in the years ahead.”

Founded in 2017, Evoco develops and commercializes high-performance, low-impact materials for a range of partners looking to mitigate their reliance on fossil fuel. “Evoco was founded to create innovative material solutions by harnessing the power of plants, as we believe plants can be the number one source in removing and mitigating the use of oil in any value chain we are using as human beings today” said Evoco CEO and founder Jason Robinson.      

The company’s flagship technology, FATES®, a patented eco-foam boasting an industry-leading 80% plant-based content, can be adapted to a wide range of applications and is readily scalable. Evoco has initially partnered with established brands in the footwear industry such as Vans, Keen, and Timberland.

“Evoco has had remarkable growth and innovation breakthroughs in accelerating the adoption of plant-based materials with their global partners” said The Stewart Group CEO, Bill Morris. “At The Stewart Group we seek out progressive technologies that make a meaningful difference in our daily lives. Our further investment in Evoco is a testament to our shared vision of enabling industries to create sustainable products and reduce their environmental footprint.”           

Evoco recently opened its own production facility in Vietnam to meet its global customers’ demand and this new funding will accelerate its operational footprint expansion globally. The company will also be embarking on new partnerships with leading material manufacturers to further support its diversification.  

In addition, this funding round will allow Evoco to extend its materials innovation offering, providing solutions including leather alternatives, plastics, 3D printing, and allowing the company to enter additional verticals such as furniture, automotive, bedding and fashion.

“EDC is pleased to support Evoco’s latest round of funding, as the company expands its suite of innovative and sustainable solutions to a global audience,” said Lissa Bjerkelund, Vice-President, Investments and Mid-Market Lending at EDC. “The company’s impressive growth is attributed to its positive impact in the sustainable materials sector, and in particular, reducing the environmental harm in the manufacturing process of everyday items. Evoco’s growth trajectory positions them as a global leader in sustainability, and with this investment we look forward to their continued success in the years ahead.”

As a result, Ben Forcier, Senior Partner at Circular Innovation Fund joins Evoco Ltd.’s Board of Directors.         

About Evoco Ltd.

Evoco Ltd is a global innovation company founded to close the loop on unsustainable goods, for good. Harnessing the power of nature, Evoco leverages its plant-based chemistry platform to create scalable novel materials to help its brand partners develop the next generation of high-performing, low carbon products, with minimal impact at end of life. Starting with footwear, Evoco’s solutions have been adopted by a variety of global brands, such as Vans, Kodiak, Bared, Timberland and Keen.          
Through an expansive innovation roadmap led through our R&D center in Toronto, Canada, Evoco is expanding its material solutions to positively impact everything we walk on, sit on, drive in and sleep on.
To learn more, please visit: evocoltd.com

About Circular Innovation Fund

The Circular Innovation Fund (“CIF”) is a global venture capital fund focused solely on circular innovation. It is a joint venture between leading cleantech capital managers – Paris-based Demeter and Montreal-based Cycle Capital. The fund invests in growth-stage companies from North America, Europe and Asia developing breakthrough new materials, circular packaging, recycling and waste innovations, logistics, as well as eco-efficient processes & design, and circular business models.
For more information on the Circular Innovation Fund, visit: circularinnovationfund.com

About The Stewart Group Limited (SGL)

The Stewart Group Limited is a 125-year-old privately held company with a global presence. From its head office location in Markham, Ontario and facilities in North America, Europe, and Asia, SGL provides its global customers with a wide array of quality products and services, including footwear and footcare products, odor-controlling technologies, and gels used in the protection of fiber optic and structural cables.

About EDC

Export Development Canada (EDC) is a financial Crown corporation dedicated to helping Canadian businesses make an impact at home and abroad. EDC has the financial products and knowledge Canadian companies need to confidently enter new markets, reduce financial risk and grow their business as they go from local to global. Together, EDC and Canadian companies are building a more prosperous, stronger and sustainable economy for all Canadians.

Public Relations Contacts

Jen Sivananthan        

Catherine Bérubé      

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From Plants to Footwear: The Science Behind Plant-Based Polyurethane

From Plants to Footwear: The Science Behind Plant-Based Polyurethane

The history behind polyurethane  

Polyurethane (PU) was discovered in the 1930s as an alternative to rubber, and is highly regarded for its durable, flexible, and chemical resistance properties.  
In the 1950s, polyurethane foam (PU foam) was popularized and found in almost all aspects of our daily lives. From footwear, apparel, furniture, bedding, and automobiles, you are probably sitting on, sleeping on, driving in, or wearing PU foam.  

How polyurethane foam is made 

It starts with a few key chemicals mixed:  

Polyols + Additives + Isocyanate = urethane bonds.  

This reaction creates the polyurethane foam that we all love for its comfort and performance.  

Today, PU foams can be made conventionally from oil-derived chemicals (petrochemistry) or from plants. Both oil and plant-based PU foams go through a similar production process, but it is the development and raw materials that make plant-based polyurethane foams more sustainable and allow for high performance properties.  

Where conventional oil-based polyurethane foam comes from?

Simply put, oil-based PU is made from petrochemicals or fossil fuels, mainly crude oil. These non-renewable resources have a high impact on the environment and use toxic materials that pollute the soil and degrade into microplastics 

How bio-based polyurethane foam is disrupting the foam industry

FATES®, Evoco’s plant-based foam, starts by extracting glucose, starches, and other building blocks from plants. We harness the basic components from these plants and use them to develop plant-based chemistry, resulting in a diverse range of formulas that meet a wide variety of technical specifications such as density, tensile strength, elongation and more. FATES eco-foam is made from up to 80% plants, reducing GHGs (greenhouse gas) emission by up to 70% in comparison to conventional oi-based PU foam This positive environmental impact is substantiated by a third-party verified, cradletogate LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) model. In addition, FATES does not use heavy metal catalysts, and is shown to degrade back into the earth, creating a circular material 

Evoco Plant Based Materials

It starts with plants

Evoco Plnat Based Chemistry

We harness the power of plants into chemistry

Evoco Plant based products

Using our chemistry, we develop plant-based materials used in footwear and more

How bio-based polyurethane foam can push innovation in the footwear industry

PU foam is widely used in footwear for its desirable properties of cushioning and shock-absorbing properties, flexibility, and its ability to be a completely customizable component. Our team of scientists and engineers have developed patented formulations to enhance PU foam properties and create a high-performing sustainable alternative.  

As more deliverables and constraints are set into footwear development such as performance, sustainability, supply chain integration and consumer expectations, our bio-based chemistry platform allows to integrate these various factors to design the perfect material formulation for any footwear project.  

As the footwear industry adapts to consumers expanding their interest in sustainable features and benefits, FATES plant-based foam allows for a seamless, high performance, low impact solution.  

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Evoco featured in Footwear Plus

Evoco Wants the Industry to Come Clean

Read the full article on Footwear Plus here

The footwear industry has been very dirty, environmentally speaking. And while overall awareness of the need to clean up its act has increased significantly the past few years—and many sustainable initiatives hold great promise—there’s still tremendous room for improvement and clarity.

Enter Evoco, a components company founded in 2017 that’s on a mission to make genuine sustainable change happen. CEO Jason Robinson says the Toronto company’s efforts represent a step change in comparison to many other green initiatives, particularly the use of recycled plastics that fail to offer a substantial benefit in carbon emission reduction. In contrast, Evoco is all about closing the loop on unsustainable goods—for good.

“We use innovative technology to replace conventional petrochemical-derived materials by harnessing the power of nature to create high-performance, sustainable products,” Robinson explains. “We take great care to minimize CO2 emissions by using the carbon naturally stored in plants and not what’s stored in petroleum from 250 million years ago. We avoid the use of artificial, harmful production chemicals, such as tin-based catalysts and solvent-based blowing agents, which are standard in the industry today. Our products have enduring performance, designed to last through longer user cycles. And, at the end of a product’s life, our foams will biodegrade, returning to the earth to start the cycle again.”

Evoco has aimed its eco-friendly efforts at insoles first. Namely, its FATES brand, an eco-foam insole made with up to 80 percent of sustainably sourced plants that cuts partners’ products carbon emissions by up to 70 percent. Customers include Vans, Timberland, Keen and Kodiak. “Consumers favor comfort, quality and the overall performance of products, and FATES over delivers on all these aspects,” Robinson says. In addition, though, he says consumers are concerned about sustainability, and it behooves brands to meet those expectations. “People understand that even something as simple as buying a pair of shoes can have a negative impact on the environment,” he says. “Collectively, we need to take accountability to challenge the status quo, and realize that we are witnessing the beginning of a next gen material revolution.”

Speaking of, Evoco will expand into other components soon. “We’re expanding our FATES material to create midsoles, outsoles (TPU) and, most excitingly, a plant-based leather alternative (PBLA) for uppers,” Robinson says. “Our PBLA will be 85-90 percent plant-based and free of toxic catalysts. There’s opportunity in other industries, as well.” Evoco recently opened its own plant in Vietnam and plans to expand production capabilities in Europe and the U.S. to meet the expected demand.

In the meantime, there’s cleaning up to be done in the shoe biz. “The fashion industry alone contributes 10 percent of global emissions,” Robinson says, adding that as the world’s population grows, the need to find cleaner alternative increases. “As more people buy more clothes, that increases our global carbon footprint. But it’s also an opportunity for more sustainable materials to produce them.” Robinson adds, “We’re just getting started! Evoco will continue to push boundaries through our innovation pipeline to better support the footwear industry and significantly reduce its carbon impact.”

By Footwear Plus

Kicks Over Coffee: FDRA & Evoco

The Science Behind Van’s new EcoCush Insole: A talk with CEO Jason Robinson & FDRA

Check out the latest Kicks over Coffee chat with our CEO Jason Robinson and FDRA’s Andy Polk. They discuss the latest news with Evoco from winning the Drapers Most sustainable initiative award, product certifications and most importantly how FATES insoles deliver on its promise of sustainability with matching performance.

Why are bio-content certifications like USDA BioPreferred important?

We want our partners and their customers to trust that our products are making an impact. That is why we were certified sustainability by USDA Bio-Preferred. What this means is that 72% of our FATES eco-foam insoles are made from plant materials (i.e. new carbon).

New Carbon is a term that refers to carbon of today, so carbon that was created in recent years (i.e plants and animal matter) not oil which was created thousands of years ago.

How does sustainability impact performance?

At Evoco sustainability and performance are synonymous. The technology that powers FATES eco-foam insoles was designed for performance. The development team created a material that allowed for performance factors to be able customized for our customer’s needs while having a sustainable 70% bio-content.

How are we scaling FATES technology to develop all footwear components and creating more value to our partners?

We are scaling the same technology we use for FATES eco-foam and developing all components of a shoe; midsoles, outsoles (TPU), and most excitingly, a plant-based leather alternative (PBLA) for the upper.

At the same time we are expanding our supply chain to serve our partners better. As we get ready to open our Vietnam production facility, it allows us to better develop products for our customers and tailoring our materials for their needs for seamless integration into their supply chain.

Evoco wins Drapers’ Best Sustainable Initiative of the Year

Evoco wins Drapers' best sustainable initiative of the year

Evoco has won a coveted Drapers Footwear Award.

The results of the Drapers Footwear Awards 2022 were revealed on 23 June at the Grosvenor House London, where the footwear industry’s elite c­ame together at a glittering gala ceremony in recognition and celebration of the sector’s achievements.

Evoco has won in the best sustainability initiative of the year and was praised by Drapers’ Footwear Awards’ panel of expert judges.

The Drapers submission featured our FATES™ technology and its breakthrough innovation of being 70-80% plant-based and without sacrificing performance.

With global brands using FATES™ insoles in their shoes to create sustainable choices for their consumers. The best part of our eco-foam material is that reduces our brand partners emissions by up to 70% compared to petrochemical based foam.

The awards cover the entire spectrum of the footwear sector, with categories including Best Footwear Campaign, Independent Footwear Retailer of the Year, Women’s Footwear Brand of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement award.

The Drapers Footwear Awards are the most respected and prestigious in the footwear retail industry.

Jill Geoghegan, Drapers editor, said:

“Congratulations to our winners, who continue to demonstrate their ingenuity, resilience, and commitment to community and industry.”

Jason Robinson, CEO of Evoco commented: 

“Incredibly proud of Evoco to be recognized as a sustainable leader in the footwear industry. As we continue to work with our partners, we are just getting started on our mission to close the loop on unsustainable goods.”

About Drapers

Drapers has been the leading authority on fashion retailing in the UK since 6 August 1887.

We provide industry news, insightful analysis, commentary, and key data, as well as a growing portfolio of face-to-face networking opportunities.

From the rise of digital to challenges around sustainability and changing consumer habits, this dynamic industry has undergone many changes over the years. What remains throughout though, is the creativity and passion of those that work within it.

At Drapers we strive to educate, inspire, and connect the newcomers and leaders alike in this innovative sector. Our readers trust us to deliver high-quality, independent journalism that helps them to remain competitive in today’s challenging and fast-changing trading environment.

For more information and view all the winners please visit Drapers’ website

Deputy Prime Minister and the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet L. Yellen visit Evoco

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet L. Yellen visit Evoco

Evoco Ltd. was recently honored to welcome the U.S. Treasury Secretary, Janet Yellen, and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland to their labs at MaRS Discovery District. As a Canadian start-up selected from a shortlist of innovative companies, Evoco had the incredible opportunity to showcase their commitment to renewable materials and plant-based chemistry, and discuss their plans for greater U.S. investment.

During the visit, CEO Jason Robinson gave them a tour of the facilities, demonstrating how plant-based materials are developed and manufactured on a commercial scale. The tour included showcasing FATES eco-foam and the early stages of Evoco’s novel plant-based leather, giving the guests an inside look into the company’s innovative approach to creating sustainable consumer goods.

Evoco in Forbes

Forbes Feature

Karl Moore, Professor at University of McGill, and contributing writer at Forbes visited Evoco to get a behind the scenes look at how we are disrupting the materials industry with innovation right in the heart of Toronto. Evoco Ltd. is honoured to be featured in Karl Moore’s recent Forbes column. Sitting down for a one-on-one at MaRS Discovery District with our CEO Jason Robinson, their conversation highlights the urgency for companies to offer sustainable solutions through carbon-reducing technologies. 

Jason led a Karl around our various labs and demonstrated how we developed our patented biobased eco-foam, FATES™ and create high preforming products like footwear insoles.


Our labs creating formulation and foam samples using custom equipment similar to  industrial settings.

Evoco is closing the loop, by understating how our materials decompose in composting settings. 

Evoco is continuing the innovation by developing new materials such as plant-based leather alternative (PBLA).

Working Person feature: Cleansport NXT

Working Person feature: Cleansport NXT

.    Our CleanSportNXT was featured in Working Person blog

Cleansport NXT is the go to for natural  sustainable for odour control from work wear to every day clothing. 

Written by Working Person

Think probiotic power is only good for your gut health? Think again.

Cleansport NXT technology utilizes the power of microbes to eliminate odors on athletic products, like running and work shoes, insoles, and apparel. Live microorganisms are added to fibers to break down the partially-digested organic material left behind by bacteria.

It’s not the actual sweat that causes odors – it’s the partially-digested material that creates it. That’s why the microbes are in place on the fabric to take care of these odor-causing materials.

How does it work?
This innovative technology bonds microbes onto fibers, where they remain dormant until they’re activated by perspiration. Every square inch of fabric contains thousands of these microorganisms.

When sweat appears (which includes that stubborn, halfway-digested material), the tiny yet intricate microorganisms kick it into gear and go right to work getting rid of the partially decomposed organic material by breaking it down.

Once the microbes have dealt with the situation, they go back to their dormant state and wait for the next round.

Image of foot with microbes to demonstrate how Cleansport NXT Technology destroys these microbes to eliminate odors caused by feet.

Environmental Impact
Cleansport NXT is natural and safe for consumers – AND the environment. The unique technology doesn’t have hazardous chemicals, toxic waste, or genetically modified organisms.

It’s naturally occurring and invisible to the naked eye. You’ll feel better knowing this is a safe and clean process that creates non-toxic health benefits for both you and the environment.

Find the Original Post here on Working Person Blog

Learn more about Cleansport NXT here

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