Biology and Chemistry are taking over the Fashion Industry. The tag of our clothing contains more than just the brand name and size. It has the Fiber Contents. This tiny bit of information can explain what happens to your shirt after you’re done with it, whether or not it can biodegrade, get recycled, or if nothing can be done to it at all. No Kill Mag is constantly looking for new brands and designers cutting down on waste and pushing for Sustainable Development. Now we’re looking at Science and how Fashion and the materials we know and wear are changing. From Pineapples to Mushrooms, we are obsessed with what’s being developed and how it competes against past materials.
Forget Pineapple Prints this summer because you can actually wear clothing made from pineapples! Piñatex® is a new natural fiber material made from Pineapple leaves. Dr. Carmen Hijosa developed Piñatex® after working in the Leathergoods industry and witnessing the environmental impact of mass leather production and chemical tanning. This faux leather material is quickly making its way into production. Even big brand Hugo Boss is showcasing it in their new limited edition Vegan Sneakers. Some of our fav pineapple leather pieces include super cute wedges from BEGO , the ATLIIR Gold Biker Jacket, and The Lovely Things RIKA Crossbody bags.
Algae Blooms produce toxins dangerous to us and the environment, and the numbers are increasing each year. Fortunately, companies like AlgiKnit are taking this environmental issue and transforming it into the fabric. This biodegradable material can even be 3D printed into a solid foam for sneakers and bags. And According to the journal Advanced Functional Materials, because it’s made from live algae, clothing made from it it would be photosynthetic, absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and breathing out oxygen. Menswear Brand Volebak has even used Algae as a printable and biodegradable ink for their shirts. In womenswear, technical designer and one of our Fashion Influencers, Charlotte McCurdy developed an algae bioplastic film made entirely of marine macro-algae. This was then utilized for a collaborative project with fashion designer Phillip Lim to create a petroleum-free dress covered in bioplastic sequins. The dress? Stunning, Shiny, Biodegradable, and, like the rest of the algae-based products we’ve mentioned, removes and filters carbon in the air.
Even Fungi can be fashionable now! Companies like Bolt Threads and MycoWorks have created Mycelium Based Faux Leather. Major fashion brands like Hermès and even Kering, the parent company of Adidas, Stella McCartney, Lululemon, and Gucci, are getting involved. Mycowork’s material is referred to as Fine Mycelium and was first used in collaboration with Hermès to create a purse.
Its strongest feature? That it can be custom-grown to minimize waste and different performance and aesthetic qualities. Last Year, Bolt Threads received significant funding from Kering, 45 million dollars to push the progress of their mycelium-based materials. Their material, Mylo, was featured earlier this year in March in an exclusive Vogue feature with actress and environmentalist Paris Jackson, who wore first-ever Mylo garments designed by Stella McCartney.
Silk, a classic natural fiber material, has even received innovations courtesy of Science. Bolt Threads has also created a product they call MicroSilk. Inspired by spider silk, a material that, when woven, is 20 times stronger than steel, Bolt Threads replicated the proteins made by spiders to produce MicoSilk. This groundbreaking innovation has unlimited potential. Before MicroSilk, it was practically impossible to collect due to the nature of arachnids. Brands are slowly starting to use this strong, soft, and stretchy fabric, including Best Made Co., Adidas, Stella McCartney, etc…
Similar to Piñatex®, Scientists have created another leather-like material made entirely of cactus fibers. Desserto is made from Prickly Pear Cacti and is Founded by Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez from Mexico. Desserto is Breathable, Soft, Bacteria Resistant, and most importantly, Sustainable. Many designers are using this in their products. There’s been lots of buzz around the new cacti leather handbags from Santos designed by Mónica Santos Gil. Mónica’s bags are bold, colorful, and fun, showcasing the endless colorways and options that faux Leather made from Cacti can provide in Fashion.
We can’t wait to wear some of these new materials! Imagine telling someone your purse is made from a Cactus? Love it. Brands are investing and plant-based, lab-made clothing is vying to upend the leather industry and oil-based synthetics. As the Fashion Industry moves towards Sustainable Development, this blend of Fashion and Science is changing our clothes and leads the way for beauty, home, and packaging.