A Focus On AlgiKnit


The environment has faced severe damage. We know this. However, people of Earth started taking notice and are attempting to reduce their carbon footprint to preserve the planet as long as possible. While there are quite a few industries aiding the destruction of our planet, the fashion industry is one of the most prominent causes for pollution. Clothing waste is partly to blame for the planet’s air pollution. Burberry, recently, acknowledged this fatal flaw and agreed to stop burning all unsellable product. This move of the company to become more eco-concious, will hopefully inspire fellow leaders in the industry to do the same. This simple change in routine can help the environment significantly, but what if we could just get rid of the traditional, and harmful, way of creating fabric for clothing, and instead, use science to dictate our fashion?

That is where AlgiKnit comes into play. AlgiKnit is a biomaterials company integrating science and design into textile production. Addressing the ecological damage caused by the fashion industry, AlgiKnit is creating durable yet rapidly degradable yarns. AlgiKnit uses kelp to create their materials. Kelp is the fastest growing organism on Earth, making it rapidly renewable, and kelp improves environments by absorbing the nutrients from agricultural and sewer run-off that can harm coastal environments. By absorbing the run-off water, Kelp is recapturing nutrients for the next generation of biomaterials. Essentially, this innovative science lab is turning seaweed into fiber that can then be turned into the latest and trendy fashion pieces that places like Forever 21 are creating, minus the pollution.

As reported by Fashion United, from kelp, AlgiKnit extracts alginate and combines it with other renewable biopolymers to produce yarn, which is strong enough and stretchable enough to be knitted by hand or by machine to be used in textile manufacturing. The final product can be dyed with natural pigments. “We use an extrusion process to turn our biopolymer mixture into a filament. We extrude the mixture into a salt bath that cures the bio yarn”, explains AlgiKnit. But that is not all, to minimise waste, all products are knit to shape. This technique allows AlgiKnit to produce products with little to no waste. And when the textile's life cycle comes to an end? No problem - it can be reused. “When it’s worn out or you don’t want it, it can be broken down by microorganism and the nutrients reclaimed to feed the next generation of product,” says AlgiKnit co-founder Aleksandra Gosiewski when speaking to Creative Bloq. “I envision a future where the materials we use can be transformed to feed the next generation of products.”

AlgiKnit was founded by Tessa Callaghan, Aaron Nesser, Aleksandra Gosiewski, Theanne Schiros and Asta Skocir and grew out of BioEsters, the winning team from the 2016 BioDesign Challenge. AlgiKnit is continuing to pursue a material-driven design approach to biopolymer-based materials with support from the Fashion Institute of Technology. AlgiKnit is also supported by the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), National Geographic and start-up accelerator RebelBio.

As avid supporters of fashion that cares, OVRL 100% supports this next transition in the fashion industry. To create clothes that won’t destroy our planet. As AlgiKnit claims, “diversity is sustainability”.

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