It's been nearly two months since the five finalists of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2015 presented their business plan to our jury. One of the finalists was Stacy Flynn with her company EVRNU. Her vision on how to recycle the million tons of textile waste into premium renewable material is inspiring. TEDx thought the same and invited her to give a TEDx talk. Reason enough to ask her some questions about her participation at the Postcode Green Challenge and how she is doing today.
It’s almost two months now since the final. Your vision on how to change the textile industry was very inspiring. Can you tell us how you prepared yourself for the finale?
I’d been working on my presentation since I found out I was competing as a finalist in the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge and pitched for about 3 weeks before leaving Seattle, so I was feeling really good before leaving for Amsterdam.
When arrived in Amsterdam we had a pitch training by RockStart, which was awesome; we were able to refine my presentation to really focus on the topics that were important. We had a one-day accelerator program and then I worked with my team through the night to rework the slide deck to present the next morning. There is only one chance to make a first impression. For me it was very important to communicate all the key benefits of the EVRNU technology to the jury of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.
You sound stoked about your participation. How did your friends, family and business partners responded when they found out that EVRNU was one the five finalists?
My network was so excited that we were competing for the largest, annually, sustainability prize in the world. It was a bit surreal because the area of textiles and apparel has massive global impact and yet it’s not typically part of the impact discussion among sustainability professionals. The fact that our business potential and the impact we can have within our industry is being recognized by the jury is an important strategic endorsement for us.
That sounds great! Can you tell us a bit more about the current stage EVNRU is in?
We are in the startup, developmental stage of the company and are in the process of commercializing our first pre-production batch of garment waste. We have one global brand signed in to our Early Adopter program with more in discussion. We will have a garment made entirely of our fiber technology by early 2016.
That must be a big moment for you. We will definitely keep close track of any progression you guys make. We love to see our finalist flourish. Is there something you would like to say to the entrepreneurs who are now wondering if they should submit for the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge 2016?
Go for it. It pushed me a little bit beyond what I thought was possible, that’s the point. Even though we did not win prize money, we have gotten the attention of some very interesting people and organizations. I even got invited to give a TEDx talk about EVNRU’s vision on the million tons of textile waste that being produced by the textile industry every year. Competing at the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge was a once in a lifetime opportunity!