Kelp as a Fiber

kelp

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.

Stakeholders:

  • 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)
  • Consumers
  • Fashion Retailers
  • Kelp Growers

Three steps to deploying technology:

  1. Acquire addition support from investors to finish developing product.
  2. Create example products to show to fashion industry
  3. 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.

UNI: Sah2239

Week 3

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2 thoughts on “Kelp as a Fiber

  1. 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.

    Like

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