GRIT EDITION THREE - Flipbook - Page 23
BEST USE OF TECH
CLASS OF 2020
Did you know, fashion is one of the most polluting industries on the planet? ALT TEX is tackling fashion’s ecological
footprint by engineering planet-friendly, carbon neutral
and biodegradable fabrics.
Their goal is to become the leading source of
synthetic fabrics, replacing the environmentally harmful oil-dependent fabrics that take
up 65% of our wardrobes today.
Founded by Myra Arshad; Next 36
Myra is a recent graduate from the Schulich School
of Business with a BBA specialized in strategy and
entrepreneurship. After graduating, Myra spent ten
months at Procter & Gamble as an Account Executive, managing a $50M business, before leaving to
pursue entrepreneurship full time. Her goal? To flip
the $25 trillion fashion industry on its head.
HOW THE NEXT
CHANGE THE WORLD
t a time of economic, social and environmental uncertainty, we all have a part to play in
rebuilding. Yet, there is a special opportunity
amongst value-driven millenials who are stepping up to tackle new, systemic challenges, head on.
Rcently, John Stackhouse, SVP at RBC, joined three up
and coming entrepreneurs who each embody the ethos
of a modern day founder. Myra Arshad (Co-founder, ALT
TEX), Zach McMahon (Co-founder, LUCID) and Natasha
Dhayagude (Co-founder, Chinova Bioworks) are shaking
up their respective industries and, in some cases, creating new ones. Listen in to the full episode here.
Myra has been nominated as one of our best uses of
tech for the work she is doing to upend the fashion industry; to bring “new systems, products and processes
that challenge old paradigms for the better”. Here, we
share an excerpt where John and Myra discuss why it’s
so important that more young entrepreneurs tackle big
JOHN: First, let me ask you about your journey in becoming an entrepreneur - do you feel you were born an
MYRA: I always knew I was going to take a bit of a
non-traditional path and I think it really goes back to
how I got to Canada. We emigrated here when I was
one, with only a couple hundred dollars in our pockets
and I knew early on that I wanted to create something
bigger for my family. When I came here, I think I saw
things through a very different lens than people who
have grown up here. I saw the problems with the systems and infrastructure - climate, economic, social.
Because of the hardships that I saw as a kid growing
up, I think I was just a lot more aware of these issues,
so that awareness drove me to get into entrepreneurship and change those systems for the better.
JOHN: I’m curious to learn what this commitment
to changing the world might say about your generation and what it can do for Canada in the 2020s?
Ft. John Stackhouse
MYRA: Our generation is so acutely aware of everything that’s going on in the world and we’ve realized that the systems which have been operating
so far are broken - this is what motivates us to do
JOHN: You’re tackling a global challenge through
your company. While entrepreneurs often want to
take their idea to a global level before someone
else does - what do you need most to succeed in
scaling to this extent?
MYRA: I think that we need to have connections in
a range of ecosystems to succeed globally. One upside to us all being virtual is that I have spent time
attending international conferences and events and
connecting with incubators and accelerators from
different countries, things we wouldn’t be able to
do normally. It’s brought to light the importance
of facilitating a movement of talent and funding
across different communities so that we can truly
make a global impact.
JOHN: I think you’ve just illustrated perfectly what
an entrepreneur is: When others see obstacles, you
see opportunities. Thank you and I wish you nothing but the best as you continue to build a sustainable business.
Listen to the full conversation
on the RBC Disruptors podcast
As one of NEXT’s Transformational
partners, RBC is a champion of supporting Canada’s next generation of
entrepreneurs. Learn more about our
partnership and recent renewal here.