Sustainability Problem: Waste (in the fashion industry)
- AlgiKnit is a company that make a new fiber made from kelp. They are looking to replace oil based fibers or other man-made fibers.
- Oil based fibers, like polyester, are not sustainable as they not only rely on oil but also create micro-plastics which are currently polluting the ocean and contaminating the food chain.
- Kelp is easy to grow and can grow quickly, even faster than bamboo. Kelp farming can also help to support farmers and give them a steadier income. Kelp farms also improve the health of the ocean.
- Recently won the National Geographic “Chasing Genius Challenge” and are working with the Clinton Global Initiative. They are based out of the Fashion Institute of Technology.
- Article: “Could Kelp Be the Future of Sustainable Fashion?” by the Observer.
- AlgiKnit (the company)
- National Geographic, Clinton Global Initiative and other investors
- Textile manufactures
- Fashion Institute of Technology and Columbia University (Labs where they are testing material and research partners)
- Fashion Retailers
- Kelp Growers
Three steps to deploying technology:
- Acquire addition support from investors to finish developing product.
- Create example products to show to fashion industry
- Create a partnership with a Fashion Retailer to begin to incorporate new fiber in to textiles.
Comment on Origami-inspired clothing:
This product could also be used for adults who are losing weight and do not want to spend money on the clothing between their original weight and their goal weight.
2 thoughts on “Kelp as a Fiber”
Definitely a concept worth exploring for the fashion industry. I’m wondering if there are health risks if kelp is rapidly farmed via genetic modification. That might create two markets – GMO vs non GMO kelp products. Also, the article didn’t mention the cost of kelp, so I’m curious if it’s cost competitive with petroleum-based fibers.
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