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Walmart in partnership to create apparel out of carbon emissions

Rubi cofounders
Caption: L to R Leila Mashouf, CTO and co-founder, and Neeka Mashouf, co-founder and CEO, Rubi Labs.

Walmart will pilot technology designed to capture carbon emissions and develop apparel and other products.

The discount giant is partnering with Rubi, a company that creates natural textiles 100% from carbon emissions, to utilize on-site reactor technology in pilot projects involving Walmart's sourcing and manufacturing collaborators' infrastructure. The output of those projects will be leveraged to produce a prototype apparel collection using Rubi's fabric made from carbon emissions.

Rubi uses biochemical processes powered by enzymes at an industrial scale to "eat" carbon emissions and make carbon-negative, resource-neutral textiles. Rubi's processes capture and convert carbon dioxide (CO2) from the waste streams of manufacturing facilities into cellulose. The converted cellulose is then used to create lyocell yarn, which can be used for clothing and materials.

In the first pilot, the two companies will investigate how Rubi's modular reactor systems could integrate on-site to CO2-producing facilities at manufacturers in the Walmart supply chain to capture and convert the CO2.

In a second pilot, Walmart and Rubi will test Rubi's cellulose fiber performance for use in a prototype garment, and ultimately design and develop a sample apparel collection, with a particular focus on accessibility to the masses.

In its own operations, Walmart has set a goal to be powered 50% by renewable energy by 2025 and 100% by 2035. More than 5,200 suppliers globally are engaged in its Project Gigaton and as of 2022, the discount giant’s suppliers have reported reducing or avoiding more than 750 million metric tons of carbon emissions collectively since 2017.

"Walmart's collaboration with Rubi could reimagine the apparel supply chain by leveraging technology to create textiles from carbon emissions. This technology could play an important role in our journey towards zero waste and zero emissions," said Andrea Albright, executive VP, sourcing, Walmart. "We see the opportunity to use our scale and reach to have a positive impact wherever we operate, and we're committed to accelerate this impact through our products, services, and business practices. Walmart's joint effort with Rubi underscores this commitment."

"At Rubi, our goal is to ensure a thriving future by restoring Earth's ecological balance with reimagined supply chains," said Neeka Mashouf, co-founder and CEO of Rubi Labs. "Walmart's ability to mobilize positive impact across its supply chain of diverse US collaborations could be massively impactful in scaling our production and delivering on our commitments. We're thrilled to collaborate with them."


Headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., Walmart Inc. operates more than 10,500 stores and numerous e-commerce websites under 46 banners in 24 countries.

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