Hey! Your next pair of shoes might be made of pineapples

While cotton might  be a great material to wear – it is unfortunately also responsible for soil erosion and water contamination from pesticides among other things. Producing just one single t-shirt also takes about 20 000 litres of water. At the same time, synthetic materials made from fossil fuels such as acrylic and polyester, produces carcinogens in the production stage and whenever we wash the items, plastic micro fibers enter our water supply, Forbes reports.
But fret not, lots of other materials are coming our way!
Several companies are now making textile materials out of agricultural waste that otherwise would just be left to rot. Winner of H&M Foundation Global Change Award in 2018, Circular Systems, makes a bio fiber out of crop waste such as hemp, flax, pineapples, bananas and sugar cane. They also make other materials of the waste, such as packaging and bio fuel.
The company Orange Fiber similarly rescues all the orange peels discarded after making orange juice in Italy every year, and turns it into a silky fabric similar to viscose. In 2017, Italian luxury goods company Salvatore Ferragamo even made a collection of clothes in this material.
Speaking of pineapples, it can also turn into vegan leather. Piñatex, as it is called, is made from pineapple leaf fibres and other parts of the fruit that can’t be eaten. Meanwhile, Chip(s) Board make bioplastic made of potato waste and Vegea make leather from grape waste.
As Forbes put it: a new revolution in material innovation is on its way.



Good sustainable news: Bolt Threads releases it own mushroom leather bag

Material innovation company Bolt Threads have done it again! After the collaborations with Stella McCartney, on the spider silk gold dress and the Falabella mushroom bag, they are now releasing their own first ever commercial product: the The Bolt Projects Mylo Driver Bag. The bag is handcrafted with canvas and leather grown from mycelium – the part of the mushrooms that grow underneath the ground. Apart from the bag being very stylish and is reported to be as strong as regular leather, it’s good news for the environment too. Creating it didn’t involve raising any livestock, creating any land erosion or methane emissions.
To create the bag Bolt Threads collaborated with Portland-based brand Chester Wallace, known for its handcrafting. At this point, the bags can be preordered on their Kickstarter page to be delivered to backers in the spring of 2019.
Bolt Mylo 3Photo credit: Bolt Threads


Bolt Mylo 4Photo credit: Bolt Threads


Bolt Mylo 2Photo credit: Bolt Threads

Adidas presents its first compostable sneaker

Is spider silk ready to reach the mainstream? Maybe. Sportswear company Adidas seem to be looking in that direction, anyway. Late last year they presented a biofabricated sneaker made from spider silk, at the Biofabricate conference in New York. The shoe was made in collaboration with German company Amsilk, whose product Biosteel is made of synthetic spider silk proteins. The material is biodegradable which means this show could actually be composted, unlike most of the shoes that the company normally sells. And apparently it is both lighter and stronger than synthetic running shoes. Although just a prototype, Adidas hopes to put this shoe on the market by next year. Let’s hope!
adidas4 adidas1
Photo credit: Adidas

Är BioTech framtiden för FashionTech?

Ja, kanske det! Jag blir i alla fall väldigt inspirerad när jag ser mig omkring och ser hur driftiga människor försöker framställa läder utan att kor dör (Modern Meadow) och spindelsilke utan att involvera spindlar (Spiber och Bolt Threads blanda andra). Här finns en riktigt spännande möjlighet att addera till pluskontot för både miljö, människor och djur.
I ett angränsande område jobbar svenska Dedicated Institute som jag presenterade på Tech Loves Fashion i måndags. Tillsammans med Smart Textiles på Textilhögskolan i Borås och aktörer inom koldioxidavskiljning arbetar de på att framställa syntetiska textilfibrer av växthusgaser. Projektet pågår fram till september i år, så håll utkik efter detta.
Mycket kring hållbarhet handlar av nödvändighet om att avstå, bromsa och backa. Det här har potential att bli något annat.

Is Biotech the future of FashionTech?
It just might be! At least I get very inspired when I look around to see all these driven people trying to create leather without cows dying (Modern Meadow) and spider silk without involving spiders (Spiber and Bolt Threads among others). Here’s a really exciting opportunity to add to the plus account for the environment as well as animals and people.
In an adjacent field, there’s Swedish Dedicated Institute who was one of the three brands I presented on Tech Loves Fashion on Monday. Along with Smart Textiles at Borås Textile University and the carbon capture industry they’re trying to create synthetic textile fibres out of greenhouse gas. The project goes on until september, so keep an eye open for news.
A lot surrounding the subject of sustainability is by necessity about abstaining, decelerating and reversing. This has the potential to be something different.

Spindlar kan ha skapat din nästa vinterjacka

Ah, spänningen! Webbtidningen The Memo lät ett gäng ledande figurer inom tech lista sina spådomar om 2016 här strax före jul. Och det regnade förstås spännande tankar om vad vi kommer att se framöver i vårt snabbt föränderliga samhälle, som till exempel en helt ny nivå av Virtual Reality-upplevelser och en hälsotech-boom till exempel.
Själv fastande jag förstås mest för designern och Central Saint Martin-föreläsaren Amy Congdons tankar om bioteknologi som hon tror blir en stor grej inom mode under det kommande året. Hon nämnde bland annat det japanska företaget Spiber experimenterar med spindesilke. Tillsammans med klädmärket North Face lanserade de i höstas Moon Parka, en parka tillverkad av syntetiskt spindelsilkesprotein. Grejen med jackan (vars guldiga färg är spindelsilkets naturliga) är att bevisa att det faktiskt är möjligt att tillverka kläder med proteinet. (Bolt Threads som jag skrivit om tidigare har lyckats producera tyg men ännu inga faktiska plagg). Spindelsilket är nämligen mer slitstarkt än kevlar och mer elastiskt än till exempel bomull, vilket skulle vara väldigt attraktivt för märken som säljer fritidskläder.
Parallellt laborerar även experimentverkstaden Modern Meadow med att odla fram olika material i laboratorium, som till exempel läder. Att kunna ta fram läder utan att djur behöver dö, skulle ju radikalt förändra hela branschen.
Amy Congdon:
– Med alla dessa framsteg börjar vi komma till en punkt där vi kan odla våra egna material och produkter, få in ny funktionalitet och på sikt jobba mot att minska de spår vi lämnar efter oss på miljön, säger hon.

Moon Parka


Foto cred: Spiber Inc.


Spiders may have created your next winter jacket
Ah, the excitement! Web mag The Memo let a bunch of tech leaders list their predictions for 2016 before Christmas. And of course it just rained fantastic thoughts about the upcoming year, like for instance whole new levels of Virtual Reality experiences and a boom of health tech applications. Personally I got most excited about designer and Central Saint Martins lecturer Amy Congdons thoughts about biotechnology which she thinks will make a mark in fashion during 2016. She mentioned for instance Japanese company Spiber who experiments with spider silk. Along with North Face they launched the Moon Parka in October, a parka made out of synthetic spider silk. The thing about this jacket (whose golden hue is the natural colour of spider silk) is mainly to prove that it is actually possible to make clothing out of. (Bolt Threads that I’ve written about before have managed to make fabric made of spider silk, but not yet any clothing items). The spider silk is known to be more durable than kevlar and more elastic than cotton, which would be very attractive for outdoor brands.
At the same time, experimental work shop/research company Modern Meadow is growing different materials in laboratories, for instance and leather. Being able to grow actual leather without having to kill any animals would just radically change the whole business.
Amy Congdon:
– With all these advancements we are beginning to get to a point where we can start to grow our future materials and products; incorporating new functionality and ultimately aiming to work towards decreasing our environmental footprint.”


A fashion designer & lecturer at London’s Central Saint Martins.

“Biotechnology will come to the fore in fashion”

“The most exciting new technology that I believe will really come to the fore for the fashion realm in 2016 is biotechnology.”

“We’re already starting to see this happen, for example with the recent launch of the Moon Parka – a collaboration between biotech material company Spiber and outdoor clothing brand The North Face: The jacket has been created using laboratory spider silk, where the spider silk protein was fermented in microorganisms and then spun into threads.”

“As well the emergence of new materials there are events that are aiming at fostering and supporting these new collaborations, events such as the Biofabricate.”

“The annual summit is the first to focus on “the emerging world of grown materials” and brings together “pioneering biomaterial, biotech and biofabrication start-ups alongside key researchers, designers, thought leaders and academics.”

“With all these advancements we are beginning to get to a point where we can start to grow our future materials and products; incorporating new functionality and ultimately aiming to work towards decreasing our environmental footprint.”


2016 Predictions: 10 tech leaders told us how our homes, clothes, and cultural life will change next year.

Our world is rapidly changing in dramatic and unexpected ways.

With 2016 rapidly approaching we’re doing our own bit of future-gazing (see The Memo’s predictions), but we’re also looking at the worlds of businessfinance and culture, and how these will all soon change and evolve.

For this piece, we asked 10 key culture influencers how they thought life would be different next year. Some are founders or top executives at virtual reality, fashion, or publishing companies. Others are digital leaders whose businesses simply change the way we eat, work, date or live.

Från Spiber:
The next giant leap in manufacturing begins in the realm of outdoor apparel. Together with The North Face, we will create the first-ever clothing line that combines science and fashion, opening the door to limitless possibilities for the future.

On September 26, 2015, based on The North Face’s Antarctica Parka, we created the world’s first outerwear prototype made with our spider fibroin-based protein material QMONOS. We call this historic prototype the ”Moon Parka.”

The North Face’s Antarctica Parka is an outerwear jacket designed to endure the harsh conditions and intense cold of the South Pole, which the Moon Parka is designed to match. The QMONOS outer material is the natural web color of the Golden Orb spider, and the almost unearthly glow inspired us to dub the color ”Moon Gold.” The embroidered logos are also made from a black QMONOS.

The World’s First Prototype Created on an Actual Manufacturing Line

During the prototyping process, we chose the protein types in our library that are best suited to crafting the outer material and embroidery thread. We then conducted extensive trials in order to find the perfect threads for the spinning, twisting, weaving, and sewing processes. Moon Parka is the world’s first piece of clothing made from synthetic protein material, and the prototyping process gave us great insight into the challenges that we still face on the road to mass production. Now that we understand them, all that remains is to solve them. The countdown to practical application for synthetic protein materials has begun.