Brightfiber Textiles is a green game changer for the – notoriously unsustainable – fashion industry. With state-of-the-art technology, the young Amsterdam-based company recycles discarded clothing by processing it into new textile fibers and using these to produce circular yarns and fabrics. The Chief Operations Officer will lead Brightfiber Textiles’ operations with a focus on supply chain management and partners.
About Brightfiber Textiles
The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Every year, 100 billion new pieces of clothing are being manufactured. More than half of these are thrown away within a year after production.
“Circular clothing is a popular phrase, but only one per cent of all clothes is made of recycled materials – and that is mainly industrial waste. Meanwhile, the rising amount of consumer textile waste is the real issue to solve. What’s more, the circumstances under which textile workers live and work are dire, sometimes deadly. Brightfiber Textiles is here to make a change.” – Ellen Mensink, Founder and CEO at Brightfiber Textiles
Brightfiber Textiles’ founder Ellen Mensink started her sustainable textile entrepreneurship by founding Brightloops in 2016, a fully circular clothing brand, with the aim to create a global movement of changemakers in circular fashion. Mensink recently founded Brightfiber Textiles a separate company, working closely together with Brightloops. The aim of Brightfiber Textiles is to have a measurable, positive impact by producing valuable feedstock from local waste and supporting more fashion companies to make circular products. Brightfiber Textiles supplies to Brightloops, but also to partnering brands and textile producers with a focus on sustainability. Around 20 stores in the Netherlands currently sell clothing made from Brightfiber Textiles’ material.
The process of fiberizing textiles to turn them into usable, high-quality yarns starts with the local collection of used clothes, which are then sorted by a sorting machine based on color and composition. A cleaning machine removes zippers, buttons, labels and other odd components. Brightfiber Textiles then further processes the textile into high value fibers and blends the material with additional sustainable fibers and colors. These are processed into a new collection of yarns and fabrics under Brightfiber Textiles’ own brand.
Brightfiber Textiles currently works with partners to collect used clothing and to execute several steps in the aforementioned process. The company owns its own fiberizing machine. With this machine as unique asset, Brightfiber Textiles plans to launch a fully circular factory in Amsterdam in 2023, with the capacity to produce up to 3 million kilos of usable raw materials from recycled textile per year. To achieve this, the company has secured an investment of over 1 million euros from the Ministry of Infrastructure.
The factory will serve not only as a production facility, but also as an innovation lab and proof of concept. Brightfiber Textiles aims to create a closed textile production loop that may be rolled out internationally at a later stage, changing the fashion industry at large.
Vacancy: Chief Operations Officer
The team at Brightfiber Textiles is still small: next to the founder, three FTEs are active. They focus respectively on sales, technology and hardware, and running the factory operations. The Chief Operations Officer (COO) will join this team as a right hand to the founder. They will be primarily responsible for optimizing the supply chain, but will also pick up commercial, strategic, (IT-)process, and finance-related responsibilities.
The COO will first and foremost focus on supply chain optimization and expansion. They will bring an existing network, or at least the ability to build new relations in the industry easily, allowing them to secure partnerships and deals to ensure a cost-effective influx of material. Partners may include non-profit organizations as well as brands and manufacturers in the textile industry, who either supply unsold items or collect used pieces from consumers. Implementing quality supply chain operations will support Brightfiber Textiles in anchoring itself as trusted producer of raw materials with a solid annual output.
Given that Brightfiber Textiles is still in startup phase with a small team, the COO will also take on other challenges. The nature of this role is both strategic and hands-on. On the one hand, the COO will be a sparring partner to the CEO and founder. On the other hand, the COO will work on a daily basis to implement ideas, close deals, manage processes, and get things done.
“The COO will help me set a long-term vision for the company, based on solid industry insights and entrepreneurial ideation. They need to balance setting a strategic direction based on this vision, and keeping an eye on the day-to-day operations and our aim to reach break-even as soon as possible.” – Ellen Mensink, Founder and CEO at Brightfiber Textiles
This role is ideal for someone with solid operations- or supply chain experience, who finds intrinsic motivation in Brightfiber Textiles’ sustainability mission. In this role, the potential for impact is huge. The right candidate has both creativity and the ability to think in a structured manner. They have good analytical skills as well as poised communication skills and the ability to build and use a network. They have a high level of energy and are excited to help Brightfiber Textiles achieve its ambitions of changing the textile industry for good.
Brightfiber Textiles is working with Top of Minds to fill this vacancy.
To express your interest, please contact Vivian Linker at firstname.lastname@example.org.