Clothes made with a biotextile that lives through photosynthesis
Many people may throw away clothes that have not been worn anymore for various reasons. There must be hardly anyone who knows how much clothes have been thrown away.
According to a survey by the Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN, 1 million tons of clothes equivalent to 3.3 billion clothes are discarded every year in Japan. One million tons per year for a population of 120 million people means that each person discards 8.3 kilograms of clothes per year. This is thought to be due to the fact that in addition to the trend of fast fashion, the variety of clothing has increased, and many brands have been trying to join the various trends.
An innovative solution that aims for not only reducing such “clothing loss” but also changing consumers’ mindset has been launched. Roya Aghighi, a designer from Iran and active in Canada, launched a project “Biogarmentry” in collaboration with a research group at the University of British Columbia. They have developed photosynthesis clothes that use “algae” as a material. Although there is a popular image of “algae” as being green and somber, her design is innovative. Wearing a see-through wide silhouette shirt on a simple camisole, you will never think the shirt is made of such somber “algae”.
This project provides an opportunity not only to think about the sustainable future of fashion from the field of synthetic biology and design but also to explore how the design should be in the relationship with the organism. Their research has proved for the first time the concept for the survival of photosynthetic living cells on natural fabrics such as different kinds of cellulose and protein-based fibers and created a 100% natural and biodegradable textile.
The clothes are fully compostable, and more importantly, the material will work to purify the air through photosynthesis while living. Since the material is alive, its life cycle directly depends on how it is taken care of; therefore, those who purchase the clothes will naturally take care of them and treat them in a different way from traditional clothes.
Biogarments come with exclusive care instructions so that the users can use them for a long time, which is to encourage a change in our perception of fashion and how we handle clothing. By taking care of your clothes, you can build a longer and more intimate relationship with them. The goal of this project is not simply a matter of reducing clothing loss or producing photosynthetic clothes. The project ultimately aims to expand the possibilities of clothes by taking active approaches to change our lives. In addition, it also aims to provoke the users’ thinking using the knowledge of biology in the design world and facilitate new roles and ideals for design. The fashion industry is changing to be sustainable. In other words, as consumers, we also need to have an ethical way of relationship with clothes.
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