T-shirts made from Wood and Algae


by Susana Díez

Posted on November 28, 2019

T-shirts made from Wood and Algae

The clothes industry is the second most contaminating only behind oil. Although some companies are trying to reduce their waste, great advances have not been achieved. Now, a little startup located in London has developed a system to make t-shirts that are completely recycled. They don't use the usual tissues, they have created a new one. The T-shirts are made of wood pulp and algae and at the end of their life, they can be composted or buried it. The importance of this new tissue for the industry can be decisive.

A company called Vollebak has created a mix of materials to be biodegradable. The wood uses comes from the cultivation of sustainable trees like eucalyptus and spruces. These trees are chipped, pulped, and spun into textile yarn. In this way, they get the raw material to make the shirts. It can also be used to make other clothes, but the process is not ready yet.

For the ink, an algae has been developed in a bioreactor. Vollebak introduces water into the bioreactor through a filter. With the algae and water, a paste is formed. After this paste is allowed to dry in the sun, they achieved a fine powder. This the basis for the stagnation they have designed on the shirt. When the powder is mixed with a water-based binder, the ink appears. The company has created a natural pigment that changes over time.

The use of garments made with this process is no different from any other shirt. When you wear it, it does not degrade by sweat, or heat, or cold. In order for tissue to begin to break down, it has to be buried or taken to the compost. The reason is that to start the degradation process you need bacteria. The fungus and the heat from the Earth to start to break down.

The duration of the disappearance process is usually in 8 to 12 week. The success of degradation represents a very interesting opportunity for the textile industry. The amount of waste generated for this industry, according to the lastest data assume about 10.5 millions of ton.

Another problem is the huge amount of water needed to make traditional products. They use almost 25 trillion gallons of water every day. In some countries, they are beginning to suffer restrictions due to this abusive consumption of water. The process follows by Vollebak means a decisive saving in water consumption.

The manufacture of the fabric generates some quantities of waste. They want to close the production circus in an ecological way. Although they reuse 90% of the water they use, they are trying to reduce the environmental impact. There is an index that measures the impact of the companies on the environment, it is called MSI. Compared to 60 that reach the majority of textile company, this brand only reaches 10. His goal is to reduce the score to zero.

The price of the designed shirt is now $ 110. It is the beginning of a whole new line of eco-friendly clothes. The next step is to make these news tissues more affordable for the majority of the population. It is also necessary to change our consumption habits with respect to clothing.

One of his latest release has been un incredible jacket. The solar charger jacket is waterproof and breathable. But it also made to glow in the dark and can roll up in your hand. This jacket has been named as one of Time magazine's Best Inventions of 2018.

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