The Bio Revolution of Fashion
We are living through a time of great upheaval, ranging from marches for racial justice to the disruption caused by a global pandemic. The fashion industry is no exception.
As personal accountability becomes the mantra of the times, apparel consumers have started asking the following questions: What are my clothes made of? How are they made? And who is making them?
Much like the food, beverage, and packaging industries that Ubuntoo has covered widely in the last two years, the fashion industry, particularly fast fashion brands, contributes to almost 92 million tonnes of plastic waste annually the world over. This is before we even start to quantify their staggering water use, chemical pollution, and carbon emissions.
According to the report titled “The State of Fashion 2020: Navigating uncertainty,” sustainability and materials evolution are two of the ten crucial themes for the fashion industry in 2020. Biotechnology is leading the charge in this industry disruption through bio fabrication and microbe-based dyes.
Clothing fabrics co-designed with living organisms and food waste products are touted to be the future of the fashion industry, ditching plastics, and chemical treatments for more sustainable and long-lasting alternatives. According to Mckinsey Global Institute’s "Bio Revolution" report, the potential direct economic impact of bio fabrication on fashion materials, chemical, and energy use per year will be 8 percent or 0.2 to 0.3 trillion dollars in the next two decades alone.
In this issue of your Ubuntoo digest, we focus on solutions that are co-opting the Bio Revolution to evolve the fashion industry with sustainability and ground-breaking technologies.
Sustainable Fashion & Textiles — Ubuntoo
Provides open-source recipes and data on materials made from natural ingredients, particularly, abundant and locally sourced biomass.
Manufactures sustainable fashion items by processing excess milk from dairy farms into biodegradable milk fibers.
Upcycles the waste left over after apple juice and cider production, to produce vegan leather that is eco-friendly, sustainable, and cruelty-free.
Produces a range of dyes sourced from Elderberry trees. This eco-friendly dye has been tested on natural fibers and dyes without additional water requirements.
Biodesign Challenge 2021: an international competition and education program for high schools and universities that introduces students to the intersections of biotechnology, art, and design.
The State of Fashion 2020: Navigating Uncertainty In this report, learn about the challenges and opportunities of sustainability as well as the other top ten themes for the fashion industry this year.
“Design is not so much about making things as it is about how to make things that fit gracefully over long periods of time in a particular ecological, social, and cultural context.” - David W. Orr (2002:27)