Entrepreneurs with sustainability in mind are constantly finding new ways to reinvent old industries and business practices. The automotive industry is slowly becoming electrified, fashion is becoming less wasteful, and the energy sector is constantly expanding its clean energy division. Startup company Hempitecture is tackling the insulation installation industry by ditching fiberglass and spray foam in favor of a more eco-friendly material constructed from hemp fiber. The insulation startup business is now seeking support for its company from crowdfunding investors through a WeFunder campaign.
“Hempitecture is a Public Benefit Corporation with a purpose to create healthy, energy efficient habitats that positively impact inhabitants as well as the environment through the sequestration of Carbon Dioxide,” said Matthew Mead, founder and CEO of the startup company. “We specialize in hemp building materials because they store carbon dioxide and can be higher performing than conventional materials.”
The startup company aims to raise $2.5 million from the campaign in order to build a manufacturing facility for its hemp insulation in Idaho. Hempitecture has already gained significant traction with investors. In the first week of the campaign, supporters of the startup business managed to pull together $1.387 million, roughly 55% of the funding target. To date, investors have driven the campaign to over $1.56 million.
Hempitecture is promising investors future equity in the company, with minimum investments in the insulation business starting at $100. With the help of the funds raised from the crowdfunding campaign, Hempitecture expects to begin manufacturing its sustainable insulation out of Idaho in “the first half of 2022.”
Safer, Healthier Insulation
Mead founded the startup business alongside entrepreneur Tommy Gibbons with a mission to phase out toxic materials from the insulation industry and sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), exposure to fiberglass may increase an individual’s risk of cancer, among a number of other “serious health effects.” Enter HempWool, a sustainable alternative created by the startup company to provide consumers and installers with a safer and more eco-friendly option.
The sustainable fiber batt insulation is 92% industrial hemp fiber. Fiber is sourced from plants that do not meet the standard for hemp textiles, so Hempitecture is not competing for material with the fashion industry. The startup business claims that its product sports thermal resistance values that are comparable to traditional materials like fiberglass. Furthermore, the company plans to work with the University of Idaho to improve its performance further. As opposed to traditional insulation, HempWool is hypoallergenic, non-abrasive, and non-toxic.
Disrupting the Massive Insulation Industry
Hempitecture is diving into a giant industry as the Biden-Harris Administration continues to focus on environmental initiatives and sustainability. At the moment, the sustainable insulation offered by the startup business is still about twice as expensive as fiberglass; however, the company aims to cut production costs by establishing a US manufacturing facility and tapping into local feedstocks. With increased pressure from the federal government and domestic manufacturing, Hempitecture’s sustainable alternative may be able to secure a portion of the insulation market. Market research projects the global insulation market to be valued at nearly $77 billion by 2027.
James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.