Algae: The green revolution in the fashion industry

The fashion industry has a new promising resource - seaweed. The sustainable raw material reduces environmental impact and offers fascinating possibilities


Author: House of Eden

Algae are versatile plant-like creatures that impress with their amazing adaptability and wide range of uses. In addition to their important role as an essential food source in aquaculture, they surprise with their ability to produce biofuels and for effective wastewater treatment. They also contribute to the production of high-quality cosmetics and essential pharmaceutical products. In addition, algae bind carbon and thus reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

The extraordinary diversity of algae ranges from tiny microalgae to imposing, macroscopic varieties. This diversity opens up fascinating possibilities for using it in numerous areas. Several companies have been researching to include algae in the fashion industry for a long time.

A sustainable miracle: Algae clothing

Compared to conventional textile production, such as cotton, the production of algae clothing requires significantly fewer resources and is more environmentally friendly. Algae not only offer a sustainable alternative, but also an amazing variety of colors for textile printing. From green to blue to red and yellow, the different types of algae can provide a wide variety of color pigments. The special feature: The color of the algae color pigments can change depending on the environmental conditions - i.e. water, air and light - which gives the clothing a unique dynamic. At the same time, the color pigments are so natural that they are theoretically even edible.

Nike x Algae Color

The newest Nike x Billie Eilish sneakers, the Nike Alpha Force Low x Billie Eilish already contains a small amount of algae pigments. Nike sources these pigments from Living Ink, a life science startup. This specializes in the production of dyes from algae.

Billie Eilish x Nike Algae Shoe

Source & Copyright by Nike

Although the amount of algae pigments in these shoes is comparatively low, it still marks a step towards more environmentally friendly fashion. Because the innovation makes it clear that major players in the fashion industry want to take action against environmental pollution. However, the scaling of these solutions often fails. In addition to using algae as a color source, Nike has already experimented with numerous other sustainable material innovations. This shows the ongoing efforts by sports giants to produce more environmentally friendly products.

KeelLabs - yarn made from algae

Also the New York startup KeelLabs has actively engaged in the use of algae. Aaron Nesser, one of the company's founders, believes that a sea change in the fashion industry should start with innovative materials. KeelLabs makes yarn from algae, seaweed and seaweed that is not only sustainable and non-toxic, but also fully compostable.

Algae contains a natural biopolymer called alginic acid, which the company extracts and processes into biodegradable yarn. This yarn can be used both by machine and by hand to make fabric panels. The resulting garments can be safely disposed of in the compost heap at the end of their life, taking KeelLabs a significant step towards eco-friendly fashion manufacturing.

Keelab Yarn Seaweed

Source & Copyright by KeelLab

Algal Clothing: CO2 Storage, Health Benefits and Awareness Raising

One of the most impressive properties of algae clothing is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The clothes carry out photosynthesis and give off oxygen. In addition, they also bring health-promoting properties, as algae contain positive ingredients such as minerals and vitamins, which are released through skin moisture and benefit the skin.

However, caring for algae clothing requires some dedication as, like all plants, it needs water, light and air to survive. For this reason, algae clothing is not suitable for the washing machine, but requires that it be cleaned exclusively by hand washing with pH-neutral soap. In addition, it should be stored in bright places with sufficient humidity. This approach to care is a reminder that clothing made from seaweed is more than just a garment. These are living materials. Through the special care, these should encourage the owners to build a relationship with their clothes - similar to a houseplant. This helps to develop a greater awareness of sustainability.

The future of algae clothing

Although algae are already causing a stir at many interfaces in the fashion industry, mass production is still a long way off. The technologies and production processes must be further developed and optimized in order to make this sustainable approach widely accessible.

Algae has the potential to revolutionize the fashion industry and help us meet our environmental goals. They offer sustainable materials, a wide range of colors, CO2 storage and even health benefits. The launch of seaweed clothing shows that innovative solutions are possible in the fashion industry and encourages us to make more conscious choices when purchasing our clothing.

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