How Queen Of Raw Uses Tech To Match Buyers And Sellers Of Unused Fabric—And Save The Planet

You wish to scale back pollution, the textile trade is an efficient place to start out. Fabric manufacturing not solely creates a variety of air pollution, but additionally wastes monumental quantities of water. And, in line with some estimates, $120 billion a 12 months of unused materials is thrown into landfills, burned up or simply laid to relaxation in warehouses. Plus the waste downside occurs in every single place from mills to retailers.
That’s the place Queen of Raw is available in. Founder Stephanie Benedetto began the corporate to construct a web-based market that matches patrons and sellers of unused cloth. More just lately, she took the platform’s blockchain and machine learning-based expertise engine and constructed MateriaMX, a service for enterprise sellers aimed toward serving to them discover waste of their provide chains in real-time. Then they will routinely ship stock to the Queen of Raw market. Thus, as a substitute of depositing the fabric in a landfill, they will resell it and switch the stuff into income. It’s a very urgent matter for corporations which have signed commitments to scale back their waste by 2030.
“Companies can identify waste in their supply chains they may not even know they had,” says Benedetto.
Queen of Raw, in fact, isn’t the one impression startup utilizing state-of-the-art expertise, comparable to blockchain and synthetic intelligence, to kind the spine of their companies. Blockchain expertise, usually described as a distributed digital ledger, creates time-stamped, tamper-proof information. Though a lot of the buzz about it has targeted on cryptocurrency, its signature capability to construct customers’ belief within the safety and veracity of paperwork on the blockchain additionally lends itself to many different makes use of.
A Return to Her Roots
Benedetto was working as a company lawyer through the 2008 market meltdown. That monetary disaster obtained her eager about doing one thing extra significant and going again to her roots. At the top of the 19th century, her grandfather, an immigrant who settled on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, began repurposing unused materials, turning them into different clothes. Benedetto determined to construct an organization that would accomplish one thing comparable—repurpose materials and switch it into one thing helpful—however make use of present expertise to take action.
Her first transfer was in 2012, when she began Paper No. 9, an organization that made a sustainable different to leather-based. Then she obtained the thought for Queen of Raw. The on-line platform would use blockchain and machine studying to search out and monitor extra cloth— post-consumer waste, cloth on rolls, you identify it—after which match it to factories, retailers, designers and different patrons searching for that materials. She co-founded the enterprise in 2014, promoting the surplus Paper No. 9 cloth on the platform.
Blockchain for Sellers’ Supply Chains
Then one thing occurred. Benedetto began listening to from sellers that they weren’t precisely certain simply how a lot unused cloth they’d and the place it was coming from. Also they didn’t know how you can add the stock to the Queen of Raw market simply, since many had been dealing with that activity manually, working from Excel spreadsheets.
She realized she couldn’t solely assist, however use her expertise engine to construct a supply-chain administration service. So final 12 months, she began MateriaMX (brief for Material Exchange) to try this, with plans to launch formally this 12 months. Basically, by way of MateriaMX, month-to-month subscribers can map, determine, measure and hint waste all through their provide chains in real-time, in the end permitting them to attenuate their extra cloth, water and different waste streams. In addition, that unused materials will be routinely added to the Queen of Raw market. Plus, over time, with extra knowledge, the clever system will be capable of analyze the place clients may discover waste streams, plus present experiences on the quantity of water, toxins and different areas they’ve saved.  
As for funding, Benedetto bootstrapped at first. Then in 2018, she went by way of a Techstars accelerator and received a WeWork Creator Award for $360,000. Last September, the corporate was one of many winners of MIT Solve’s Circular Economy Challenge, receiving a $10,000 grant, together with entry to advisors, MIT amenities, and different advantages.
According to Benedetto, Queen of Raw has over 100,000 customers and has saved over 1 billion gallons of water in simply the final quarter.

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