This group will be talking at the Biofabricate conference in November. They seem extremely relevant as they are trying to develop the apparel industry by using biotechnology. They state “We see significant improvements in sustainable energy production, but not a lot in sustainable textile and apparel production.” They are trying to find more sustainable methods of production and materials for use within the apparel industry that will reduce the impact current processes have on the environment.
“We design at the intersection of biology and technology. We extract biopolymers from low energy consuming organisms, and we turn that biopolymer into biodegradable textiles. The ultimate goal is to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emission and toxic waste created by textile productions.” (Bioesters)
They worked with a form of a polysaccharide called alginate, which is found in the cell walls of brown algae. By extruding the alginate into calcium chloride, we created biodegradable filaments that they treated like yarn, knitting them by hand into a textile.
They are also making customised machines to produce these fibres, such as bioprinters. I need to try and meet them at the conference!