Isaac Nichelson is a creative leader and entrepreneur with 25 years of textile and apparel industry experience. He is known for propelling cutting-edge product and market innovation in the realms of sustainability and circular resource efficiency. He is the founder of Circular Systems SPC.
Having worked with brands like Global Hemp Group Inc., The House of Marley, and Hilaturas Ferre, Isaac possesses comprehensive fashion industry experience. A knowledge base that extends from raw materials production and apparel/accessory/footwear design and manufacture, all the way through branding, marketing and leadership of fashion and textile companies.
As one of the pioneers to promote sustainable textiles and fashion, California Apparel News named him “Eco-Johnny Appleseed” in 2007.
Isaac has founded a few eco-friendly and sustainable companies in the past, including Livity Outernational, the world's first stylistically relevant eco-lifestyle brand, and Sustainable Source Studios, the world’s premier eco-fashion agency.
He is presently the CEO of Circular Systems SPC, which he founded in 2017. Circular Systems is a Social Purpose Company providing the world's leading technologies transforming waste-to-value in the textile and fashion industries.
Circular Systems SPC received the prestigious Global Change Award in March 2018, for the Company’s Agraloop technology that converts crop waste into high value materials suitable for textiles. The award was issued by H&M Foundation.
With over 20 years of focus on sustainability in fashion, Isaac is regarded as a thought leader in the space. He works as an active contributor to industry think tanks and reports, including as a contributor to the groundbreaking 2017 Report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation "Lets Make Fashion Circular". Isaac is also a member of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, the Levi's Collaboratory, and the Textile Exchange.
As a speaker, Isaac also has been engaged in events like Global Recycling Forum, San Francisco 2015, Moving Beyond Sustainability Keynote, Amsterdam Holland, February 2020, to name a few.
From January 2000 to January 2006, Isaac served as the Market Sales Development and Creative Consultant at ASR Market, where he played a pivotal role in developing a robust private label accessory business. Through his efforts, he brought many of the world's largest Action Sports brands to the organization, leading to substantial growth of over $10 million in sales within a four-year period. Isaac also played a crucial part in incubating and launching headwear and accessory brands such as Neff, Brixton, and LRG, solidifying GMPC's dominance in private label accessory production for the surf/skate/snow industries.
In November 2001, Isaac founded and became the CEO of Livity Outernational, which is often regarded as the world's first stylistically relevant eco-lifestyle brand. With Livity, he successfully merged eco-activism and the ideals of the organic/natural products movement with fashion and sport, establishing a clear cultural link between street fashion, surfing/skating/snowboarding, and the progressive natural products market. Livity became a trailblazing brand within the growing eco-fashion movement, symbolizing the convergence of style, sustainability, and sports.
From June 2011 to January 2012, Isaac assumed the role of Consulting Chief Sustainability Officer at Marley Beverages/Marley's Mellow Mood, where he provided invaluable assistance in product sustainability and authentic cause-based marketing efforts. Subsequently, from November 2010 to November 2012, he served as the Chief Sustainability & Marketing Officer at The House of Marley/Homedics, playing a key role in creating the Marley personal audio/lifestyle brand. Isaac was responsible for aesthetic approvals, reviewing the materials supply chain, and providing consultation on materials development and packaging concepts. Under his guidance, the brand achieved remarkable success, generating over $5 million in sales in its first year.
In April 2013, Isaac embarked on a journey with Global Hemp Group Inc., serving as the Chief Sustainability and Marketing Officer. His mission was to reignite the global hemp industry from the ground up. Additionally, from January 2014 to June 2015, he took on the role of CMO at Colorado Hemp Project LLC, where he spearheaded business development, fundraising, and product marketing/branding leadership for one of Colorado's first industrial hemp farms.
In January 2011, Isaac founded Sustainable Source Studios (S3), an eco-fashion marketing agency. S3 specializes in connecting manufacturers, brands/retailers, and textile mills, facilitating sustainable fashion from fiber to finished goods. S3 represents a global network of textile mills and cut and sew factories known as "S3 System Partners," offering the world's lowest impact materials and processes. Isaac's work at S3 has been instrumental in promoting sustainable practices and connecting industry stakeholders.
From July 2014 to August 2018, Isaac served as the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) at Recover Yarns by Hilaturas Ferre, leading marketing strategy development and implementation for Recover® recycled cotton yarns. His efforts positioned Recover as the world's leading boutique-level cotton recycling system, earning validation from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's MSI Materials Sustainability Index.
Since January 2017, Isaac has been the CEO and Co-Founder of Circular Systems SPC. Through this social purpose company, he spearheads the global rollout of Circular Systems, offering transformative technologies for waste-to-value in the textile and fashion industries. The company's technology platforms include Texloop Recycling for circular textile waste solutions, Orbital Hybrid Yarns for proprietary yarn spinning technology, and Agraloop, a disruptive closed-loop bio refinery for natural fiber production from food crop waste.
Circular Systems received the prestigious Global Change Award in 2018 for its Agraloop technology, highlighting its commitment to sustainable innovation in the fashion industry.
Isaac Nichelson's impactful contributions to the industry have been recognized by various organizations. He is an Edmund Hillary Fellow and a member of the Levi Strauss & Co. Collaboratory Fellowship. Additionally, Circular Systems SPC's Agraloop technology secured a position on the Sustainable Apparel Coalition's MSI Materials Sustainability Index.
Isaac Nichelson is a visionary leader striving to create solutions to the challenges facing our planet. He recognizes that fashion, as a major global industry, has a significant impact on the environment, and he is committed to working with executive leaders of major fashion brands to transform the industry and promote sustainability.
Isaac's vision is rooted in the belief that we can preserve and regenerate our habitat by rethinking our approach to fashion. He understands that the fashion industry has a profound impact on the environment, from the production of raw materials to the disposal of clothing at the end of its lifecycle. His goal is to create a more sustainable and regenerative fashion industry that minimizes waste, reduces carbon emissions, and supports the health and well-being of communities around the world.
To achieve this vision, Isaac is deeply committed to collaboration. He recognizes that no single organization or individual can solve these complex challenges alone, and he works closely with supply chain leaders, regional governments, and global NGOs to drive change.
Isaac Nichelson l CFS Fashion
Taking fashion into an era of regenerative industrialisation l Innovation in Textiles
Isaac Nichelson profile l Crunchbase
Livity Outernational- Sustainable Clothing l Green Eco Services
Texloop Recycling l Circular Systems
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