AlgiKnit is a biomaterials research company based in New York experimenting to develop a compostable yarn from readily abundant biopolymers that can be formed into wearable textiles. As fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, Alginit's goal is to limit the waste created by textile production , creating textiles made from sustainable materials.
The company is taking kelp and turning it into "bioyarn" that can be woven together to make products. Kelp is one of the fastest growing organisms on earth - up to 10 times faster than bamboo. Use of the biodegradable yard could potentially reduce microplastic pollution and reduce landfill waste made from fabrics that don't easily degrade, like polyester.
The Alginknit has already been used to make a shoe, called AlgiKicks. What's amazing about the material is that it is still durableâ€”it won't degrade on your foot. The textile can be easily broken down by microorganisms when you're done with it, but not before.
Co-founder, fashion design graduate Aleksandra Gosiewski said that when itâ€™s worn out, or you donâ€™t want it, it can be broken down by microorganism and the nutrients reclaimed to feed the next generation of product. She envisions a future where the materials they use can be transformed to feed the next generation of products.
And the makers have been experimenting with natural dies to color the product, in an effort to make every aspect of its production sustainable.
She further added that if clothing is going to continue to be disposable, why not make it disposable in a way that makes sense that actually benefits the earth. It takes longer to create a mind shift, so why not first create an alternative that already fits into the same mindset. This is a first step to something else.
Gosiewski got into that mindset when her team won an art and design competition called Biodesign Challenge for their work on Algknit. She hopes they'll soon be winning over bigger companies who can use the material.
She also thinks people just need to stop comparing bioyarn and other more environmentally friendly material to synthetics. They're a completely different thing. It has natural stretch and flexibility, and when youâ€™re knitting you can really control the amount of material you use.
They aim to operate in a closed loop product lifecycle, utilizing materials with a significantly lower environmental footprint than conventional textiles, to bring sustainable bio-based textile alternatives to the footwear and apparel industries.
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