Lauren Choi and The New Norm Baltimore team

Choi is the founder of The New Norm, a sustainable fabric-making start-up in Baltimore City focused on creating new fibers from recycled Solo cups. So far in 2020, Choi and her team have been awarded $26k for placing second in the Bisciotti Foundation Prize for Student Entrepreneurship competition and won the JHU Business Plan Competition hosted by the University’s Center for Leadership Education.

Choi and her team have already woven samples of the fabric they have developed using recycled Solo cups from student group functions around Homewood campus and the Bisciotti Foundation Prize grant will allow them to begin manufacturing on a larger scale.

Looking forward, Choi says she is trying to join an accelerator program that would provide the team with the industry connections and mentors necessary to help build on their ideas.

“We are not polymer, textile, nor fashion industry experts,” explained Choi. “Everything has been self-taught.” She is looking for mentors from financial advising, business planning, sales, and marketing to materials processing and would love to hear from Mat Sci alumni. To learn more about The New Norm and to contact the team about how you can help, visit their website:

As a graduating senior, Choi knew she wanted to pursue this venture full-time but wasn’t sure how it would be feasible. It looks like she and her team are off to a great start in 2020!

“This grant is honestly, a dream come true,” said Choi of winning the Bisciotti Foundation Prize, “I am extremely grateful!”