Photo of Beth Esponnette

Nanotechnology & materials

Beth Esponnette

Creating a perfect pattern to weave a garment.

Year Honored



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The clothing industry makes roughly 100 billion garments per year, and 30% are never purchased. Beth Esponnette, 34, asked if there was a way to eliminate that waste by making clothes on demand. The resulting company, Unspun, uses existing 3D scanning software as well as software developed in-house to take that scan and create a perfect pattern to weave a garment. Now she’s developing what she calls a 3D weaving machinea 3D printer that uses yarn instead of polymers or metals. Rather than making fabric and then cutting and stitching it, her method goes straight from yarn to the final product. “This innovation makes it possible for the clothing industry to have zero waste,” Esponnette says.