Another year of Ohoskin has passed. The previous one was where we set the foundations of our project to create a cactus and orange-based coated textile. That was a year of discoveries, dreams that started to take form, and people met. However, 2022 was even more exciting. Where 2021 was the year of findings, the last was the year of maturity and making things concrete. Where 2021 was the year we took our first steps, 2022 was the year we learned to run.
Ohoskin is internationally patented
First, we have extended our PCT patent and obtained grants and entry in Europe, the United States, Canada, and India. In this way, we made a decisive step in entering these markets and protecting our signature circular economy process that transforms the byproducts of Sicilian oranges and cacti into our bio-based, vegan material.
Success is the consequence of Ohoskin’s features that are now, more than ever, demonstrated by specific tests and analysis.
New tests on Ohoskin: non-fossil formulation, certifications, footwear applications, naval and automotive developments
Thanks to our clients and partners, we demonstrated the quality of our bio-based alternative to leather and our commitment to improving our material to make it earth-friendly without giving up on Ohoskin’s signature durability.
Ohoskin is now 100% non-fossil
Thanks to our new formulation from recycled plastic, we’re proud to say that we’ve achieved our goal of 100% non-fossil in both versions of our plant-based coated textile. Our OA21 product with 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton and our latest development. And OB22, with a GRS-certified recycled polyester backing.
In this way, we prevent the extraction of virgin fossil material and extend the existing one’s life cycle, contributing to capturing the related carbon emissions for longer.
We conducted a C14 analysis that certified that the OA21 is for 32% of our Orange and Cactus-based biopolymer. In the meantime, we are working to obtain the USDA certification. Finally, we have quantitatively measured our compliance with the UN’s SDGs regarding environmental, social, and governance impact through the System Thinking developed by the startup Moebeus.
Ohoskin has proven itself better than leather in footwear applications
Also, our OA21 product has undergone and passed technical analysis and testing for use in footwear. And for “passed,” we mean that it has been compared against animal leather and outperformed in almost every aspect. It is a crucial development because the footwear industry is the fastest growing concerning leather alternatives and the most demanding in terms of performance in the fashion market.
Ohoskin in cars and boats: we’re accelerating, ready to sail off
In addition, we’ve successfully passed the initial stages of testing and technical analysis of OA21 for use in the automotive industry with a major car manufacturer. We are in dialogue with other major players in the industry. There are still many tests to be done. There’s no industry like the automotive one in terms of performance requirements. But it’s a – auspicious – start.
On the water, we had already won. We tested our orange and cactus-based leather alternative for use in the marine industry with a sustainable prototype catamaran designed by Unibo. AT won first place at the Monaco Energy Boat Challenge 2022.
Ohoskin and the blockchain: in the name of transparency
If you’ve been following us for some time now, you know how transparency and sustainability are for us deeply connected. We’ve certified our entire production chain and suppliers on the blockchain and developed a communication kit for brands that use Ohoskin in their products. It includes a QR code with a digital passport to make the value, supply chain, and environmental commitment transparent.
Traction, prizes, awards, and a lot of buzz
It has been a year of immense effort and hard work. And hard work always pays off.
Ohoskin gains traction in the fashion and the interior design industries
We’ve also been developing our products in an unprecedented variety of textures and colors for clients in the furniture and fashion accessories market. Also, we’ve begun our commercial campaign and validated OA21 and OB22 in the fashion and interior design sectors, ending the year with invoices and proforma issued for 100,000 euros. We’ve sold around 100 sample kits from our online shop. As demonstrated by the almost 24,000 page views, we’ve become popular, with more than 4,600 views on our website between November and December. We sold everything we had in stock. We contracted all raw material suppliers to ensure a secure supply for 2023 production.
Speaking of contracts, we’ve also sealed deals for commercial collaborations in Denmark, Spain, Portugal, France, UK, Turkey, and India, to expand our sales network further and enter into five industry associations.
Finally, our bio-based coated textile is now in five international material libraries for every architect and designer to discover, use, and innovate.
Always on the move
With our enhanced material and with our name started circulating the world, we took part in industry fairs all over Europe:
- Heimtextil in Frankfurt, Europe’s largest textile fair.
- Lineapelle in Milan, dedicated to leather and its alternatives
- Micam in Milan with Startup Bootcamp, the reference for the shoe market
- Klimamobility in Bozen, a fair dedicated to the future of mobility and interior design,
- Pitti Uomo, one of the “can’t-miss” in the fashion industry.
We have also participated as speakers at more than 30 events all over Italy that focused on innovation, startups, and sustainability. We were honored to host the most important of them at our home in Sicily: The Future of Mobility, hosted by the Motor Valley Accelerator and ST Microelectronics. There, we had the opportunity to have a – much applauded! – speech about what sustainability means to us in the automotive industry and beyond.
Also, we exhibited Ohoskin in Palermo, for “Cambiopelle” and at “Architect at work” in Milan.
- At the University of Catania, Faculty of Economy and Business Management, we led a masterclass in Management Fundamentals.
- We took part in Rethink Circular Economy Forum in Naples, an event about the circular economy in the fashion industry by Unicredit StartLab e Tondo
- We had been at the Festival della Bioeconomia in Caltagirone, with Cluster Spring and Intesa Sanpaolo.
- We took part in ReStartHerLab by Huy.
But Ohoskin went well beyond Sicily and Italy. We showcased our vegan alternative to leather from oranges and cacti all over the world:
- The Italian Embassy in Tokyo selected us as a virtuous example of Italian circular innovation for the international exhibition “Italia, ricicliAMO. Design ed economia circolare”
- The Italian Embassy in Kenya invited us to the exhibition “Design and new technologies for a sustainable future.”
- Also, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Embassy in Singapore brought us to the Singapore Design Week.
- We’ve been among the four Italian companies selected for the bio-materials exhibition of Lombardy
Prizes and awards
A lot of visibility, but also plenty of accolades and awards.
- We are among the excellent startups of Made in Italy selected by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) and LVenture Group,
- Valuetrack for Women in Tech by Unicredit Startlab,
- Up2Stars by Intesa Sanpaolo,
- Soft-landing by STAND Up! Med and Museo del Tessuto,
- Awarded by La borsa della ricerca
- By INNOVI – Fondazione Emblema, within an incubation program as one of the most promising women-led startups.
- STORMING 101 EDITION by La Carica delle 101,
- Innovation Village Award by Avis and Enea in which we’ve been awarded three times
- We’ve been finalists at the Premio Cambiamenti by CNA,
- Awarded at the Women X Impact event in Bologna:
- We won the WeMed Award 2022’s edition in Barcelona.
Press and media
Finally, we’ve received a lot of media attention. So, we have been featured on national media such as RAI’s Linea Verde and GEO; and in magazines and newspapers like Gente, Elle, La Sicilia, Cosmopolitan, La Repubblica, EtaBeta, and Milano Finanza.
Last year, we began to run. Now the times are ripe for consolidating Ohoskin’s position in the fashion and interior design industries and validating our product in the automotive sector.
Finally, we’re planning to close an investment round. Because as soon as you’ve learned to run, you want to learn to fly.