The BBC just published quite an intriguing article about new technologies being integrated into the fashion world:
A bomber jacket made from a biological ‘leather’. Courtesy of the BBC article and Biocouture.co.uk
While many people are looking at integrating digital technologies into fabrics and clothing designs, I found the highlight on grow-able fabrics even more interesting.
Suzanne Lee is a fashion designer in London who is investigating methods in which a biological ‘skin’ from a kombucha-like process can be dried and molded into fabrics and 3D clothing. Since the material is completely biological, it can simply be composted after a few years with minimal total environmental impact.
While still in the exploratory phase, I think it’s a pretty cool idea! The leathery-like material that results looks unique and edgy when sewn into jackets, and the 3D molding process could be great for making innovative shoes, hats, or other structural fashion pieces.
Depending on the material’s strength I imagine it could also be effectively used for umbrellas, marquees, etc where improving the compostability of these common and often disposable objects could make a big impact.
However, Suzanne does note that she can’t yet make a water-resistant version, so I guess the umbrella is out for now!
Here’s Suzanne’s TED talk: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xljapx_ted-talk-suzanne-lee-grow-your-own-clothes_lifestyle and webpage: http://www.biocouture.co.uk/ for more info.