A new breed of biotech brands wants to make fashion more sustainable. Amongst them, there is Re:newcell, a startup based in Kristinehamn, Sweden, that has decided to make clothes from Circulose, a biodegradable pulp of their own creation.
Once the worn-out clothes are de-buttoned, shredded, stripped of dye and plastic, it is turned into cellulose, “a biodegradable organic polymer that all green plants are made out of,” says Harald Cavalli-Björkman, chief marketing officer at Re:newcell. Then, it is transformed back into natural textile fibres. “The process is very efficient. One kilo of used cotton becomes one kilo of new Circulose textile fibres.”
Other biotechnology innovations are here to make our clothes more sustainable: synthetic spider silk from the Japanese biotech startup Spiber, an all-natural alternative clothing dye made from algae created by the Berlin-based studio Blond & Bieber, corn-based footwear from the brand Vivobarefoot, and polyester made from captured methane from the San Francisco-based Mango Materials.