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How ALUULA Composites is Setting New Standards with Ultra-Light, Durable, and Sustainable Materials

How ALUULA Composites is Setting New Standards with Ultra-Light, Durable, and Sustainable Materials

Technology Sector Technology Services Clean Tech and Environmental Technology

Earlier this year Techcouver reported that a local company developing high-performance composite materials was working with two of British Columbia’s most iconic outdoors outfitters on premium gear for the Canadian elements.

Residing on the Vancouver Island, ALUULA Composites is the brainchild of a cohort of seasoned chemists and engineers united by zeal for outdoor exploration and adventure.

Breaking the mold of conventional coated and laminated woven fabrics, ALUULA ventures into the realm of ultra-light and ultra-durable materials, which are possible due to the company’s proprietary process of co-polymer layer bonding, yielding composites that are lighter but still dimensionally stable, and resistant to damage.

Techcouver sat down with ALUULA’s newly appointed President and CEO Sage Berryman to learn more about their high-performance materials and the opportunity that lies ahead of the Victoria-headquartered company.

ALUULA has developed a high-performance material that has many uses from outdoor gear to outer space. What makes your material so versatile?

SB: ALUULA’s next generation fabric technology is lighter, stronger and more durable than our industry competitors.  Each of our fabrics have slightly different properties but they are all waterproof, have excellent UV resistance, a super strength-to-weight ratio making it eight times stronger than steel, and have unparalleled abrasion resistance to withstand tough environments. The durability and versatility of our fabric has been tested in some of the most extreme environments such as wind sports, aerospace and now more and more in the ultralight outdoor market, where every gram in your kit makes a difference. What makes our fabric stand out from others within the industry is that our engineers have created fabric that is recycle-ready.

What inspired your team to develop this material?

SB: ALUULA Composites was founded by a team of highly experienced chemists and engineers who all shared a passion for exploring and enjoying the great outdoors. Starting in wind sports, as new team members have joined, and as we see more opportunities for our durable fabric to show up, we are seeing more and more growth in the outdoor market. For the most part there aren’t really any technical fabrics out there that can be recycled, so that was one of the team’s main goals. We wanted to create materials that superseded conventional coated and laminated fabrics with a new, innovative, ultra strong composite materials, that importantly was recyclable. As the business continues to grow, we are exploring how to apply circular economy principles to the business.

Besides its durability and strength, ALUULA is also more sustainable thanks to its no-sew construction process that eliminates the need for heavy adhesives. Why is this important?

SB:  For years the world of Composite Materials has been doing things much the same way; glueing together different core layers and outer films to create composites that have a wide range of applications. ALUULA took a different approach and in doing so has enabled the next generation of composite materials. We developed a new way to assemble and fuse high tech fibers and advanced space age films together. This is important because by reducing the need for multiple layers and bonding at a molecular level, we’ve reduced the need for glue, removed fumes, creating extremely light, strong and durable composites. Importantly, what this has done is make our fabric recycle-ready. Whilst we still have some work to do on closing the loop of our production, this is a positive step in the right direction.

You’ve recently signed partnerships with some of the biggest outdoor gear companies in the world including Arc’teryx and Black Diamond. What sort of products are they developing with your material?

SB: Within the last year we’ve seen a huge growth in the demand from our brand partners to use our materials to develop gear in the outdoor sector, from packs to the next generation of climbing helmets and tents. We have yet to announce what we are working with Arc’teryx on, but we can say it will be enhancing Arc’teryx’s performance products with our innovative fabric. Black Diamond have been using our ALUULA Composite fabric to develop the next generation of climbing helmet, the 2023 Vapor. We worked with them to develop a custom penetration shield, that has a 44% higher strength to weight ration than the previously used material and resulting in a 40% reduction in weight of this climbing component. Working with brands such as Arc’teryx and Black Diamond is a huge testament to the quality, durability and high-performance nature of our fabrics. We are really proud to be associated with these brands and there are several more that we are announcing over the coming months.

Your company has also set its sights on the aerospace and airships industry and signed partnerships with Toyota and TRLA. Why is your fabric well suited for this industry?

SB: Already field tested in the harsh marine environment, ALUULA has proven that Lighter and Stronger is a difference maker in high performance applications. These same attributes are well suited for a wide range of aerospace applications where ALUULA’s inherent strength to weight ratio, very low water absorption levels, and abrasion resistance allow for solutions not previously possible. ALUULA’s fabric is also able to withstand the high UV so is very well suited to the harsh environments in space. It’s been interesting to see this as an area of development for our fabric.

Are there any other industries you are aiming to break into?

SB: We remain focused on operating within wind sports, but we are seeing more and more uptake in the outdoor arena from some big-ticket brands as previously mentioned. The uptake of our fabric, and this expansion into other areas, has been rapid. In 2019 we started with one wind sport customer, and by the spring of 2025 we should have 17 brand partners in wind sports. ALUULA is the premium product there. In outdoor in 2024 we had 0 brands launch, and by the end of this year we will have 10 or 12. Within the industries we are entering, we are entering quickly as our brand partners adopt and expand. We’ve seen them start with smaller runs as they start to fully understand our fabric, the benefits, how they can use it, and with time the size of the runs grows. Pack and tents are where we are putting a lot of effort, but we are seeing interest from other outdoor categories too.

ALUULA is a publicly traded company (TSXV: AUUA) on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Looking ahead, what can your customers and investors expect from your company in the next 12 to 24 months?

SB: Over the last quarter we’ve focused on establishing a solid foundation to support our current and future business growth. To achieve this, we’ve made significant strides in stabilizing our business while we work on updating our strategic direction and future business plans.  We are continually expanding our sales and product ranges to support our ambitious growth plans so you can expect to see more exciting news coming out from the outdoor space and are hopeful to see a steady increase in sales for our recycle-ready, high performing materials quarter-over-quarter.

What impact do you hope to see ALUULA having on the composite materials industry?

SB: Like any high quality, top performing ingredient brand, we want to demonstrate to our partners and prospective customers that our fabric is the best for the job. We hope as we continue to grow and push boundaries within the composite materials industry, we demonstrate to other brands how we can help enhance their performance gear, making it stronger, lighter and more durable. Importantly, we want to show the progress we are making towards creating material that is recyclable. Whilst we are still working on the full life cycle of our products, we are making some great progress to helping the industry become more sustainable.

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