Furry fashion

Technologists have developed an alternative to cotton and synthetic fabric for making textiles. Instead of plants, the material comes from bacteria, specifically mycelium.

Mycelium sourced from kombucha tea naturally produces cellulose through fermentation. Jen Keane, co-founder of Modern Synthesis, a London-based biomaterial company, and her team successfully created nanocellulose from a patterned yarn serving as scaffolding to create a shoe upper, CBC reported.

Hannah Hansell, an artist, and researcher focusing on the future of the fashion and textile industry, said cellulose can be grown in vats in the desired shape eliminating the time-consuming textile-cutting process involved in clothes production.

Cellulose fabric can also be programmed to self-clean. Modern Synthesis was able to fashion out from the biofabric undergarments laced with bacteria that eat sweat and body odor microbes.

Hansell also said that biofabric garments can be repaired by soaking them in a nutrient vat where bacteria can mend the fabric as well as clean it, according to CBC.

Of course, being natural, such fabrics are also recyclable and biodegradable, thus, environmentally friendly.

The costly technology is not yet commercially applicable. Pending its viability, traditional textile remains the choice material for making clothes.

Meanwhile, a Chinese company is making a name in fashion with its unique line of clothing and accessories.

The fashion house’s brand called Shein caters to a niche market as its products are mini-sized knitted bonnets, sunglasses, hats, slippers, a bathtub, a shopping cart for sleeping, a feeding chair, and a hammock for lounging. Moreover, it sells mini-sized toys like wooden dumbbells, bell rollers, carrot toys and rattan balls.

Shein items are available online and its cutesy pet products are starting to be patronized by hamster owners who like to make their little rodents fashionable and Instagrammable. WJG @tribunephl_wjg


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