Teemill from Isle-of-Wright

I come across the startup Teemill during my studies at Copenhagen Business School of Sustainable Fashion. Teemill, located at the beautiful landscape of the Isle of Wright, is one of the most interesting startups in fashion industry, when it comes to combining digitalization and sustainability.

The fashion-tech company has been founded by Robert and Martin, two brothers, in 2014. On the one hand, the startup develops fully automatic, robotic driven manufacturing, artificial intelligence solutions for on-demand printing of t- shirts. On the other hand, they use renewable energy, plastic-free packaging, renewable materials, low impact ink, and have implemented an easy take back system for recycling. Further, they play a vital role on the local economy. The overall aim of Teemill is a sustainable manufacturing solution in fashion industry.

Teemill combines sustainability, creativity, innovation, technology and purpose in one. With their business model they doing a profitable business and trying to minimize the negative impact on the environment and maximizing the social impact. Sustainability is the key and approached in a holistic and circular way. In my opinion, Teemill is a real pioneer in sustainable fashion production. They provide solutions to problems most of the suppliers in fashion industry are still facing today.

The two brothers have started developing technologies for their own supply chain of their t-shirt label Rapanui (established in 2008). They faced lots of problem of existing technologies in fashion production and searched for solutions.

With Teemill, overproduction is not a problem anymore. It is only produced, what has been ordered. And that in real-time. Teemill provides solutions for key trends in fashion industry sustainability, on-demand production, zero-inventory, customization, and fast fashion supply.

Teemill is sourcing organic cotton, the only material they are sourcing, in Nothern India, where the plant can grow by sun and water from monsoons. In India, they have established a factory where spinning, dye, weaving, cut and sew, are integrated under one roof. They use solar and wind energy in their factories. The water in the dying process is recirculated. Teemill makes traceability form plant to product possible. The t-shirts are GOTS certificated.

Teemill is a brilliant example for the democratization of fashion industry and open innovation – everyone can make use of that technology and build an own t-shirt shop on the platform.

What else is great about Teemill? Well, they repair their assembly line by themselves. If a part is broken, they print it in their 3D printer. Most of the automatization is programed with raspberry pi.

What we also like about Teemill is that they are engaging in training school kids how to program and proclaim to train everyone within their academy to get a job at their production facility. The two brother are leading the startup and are joint CEOs.

We will follow their story and hope to visit them on the island.

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photo copyright by Teemill