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Nikita Khlystov is co-founder and CEO of Huminly, the startup enabling infinite recycling of textile waste using enzymes. Growing up in low-income housing, Khlystov’s journey as an immigrant inspired him to work at the intersection of synthetic biology and sustainability. During college at MIT, he engineered bacteria to make bio-based plastics, and he studied lignin-degrading enzymes during his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He was awarded NSF and Stanford Graduate Fellowships and was named an Accel Innovation Scholar.

Over 100 million tons of textile waste are produced each year globally, yet less than one percent of this is recycled back into textiles. This is because existing recycling methods cannot handle textiles’ interwoven, multi-material nature. Huminly develops enzymes that can turn textile waste back into high-quality inputs for textile production over and over again.