Grow Your Own Clothes


Imagine growing “fabric” in a tank with tea, sugar and bacteria and converting it into a garment.That’s what is presented in this 6 minute video by fashion designer Suzanne Lee.
And she is not the first one to work with this process. Artist Nöle Giulini makes huge puppets and other artwork with home-grown kombucha fibers.

The aesthetics of the “fabric” takes some getting used to, but the benefits for the environment and social implications are astounding.

And once again I ask myself, aren’t the environment and social implications more important than aesthetics?

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4 Responses to “Grow Your Own Clothes”

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  1. Greta says:

    What a good question. But it also raises the question of aesthetics, for isn’t it, in terms of fashion, a category with ever-changing criteria?
    This week, I’ve been thinking about how easy it is to lose perspective if one develops an eye for only aesthetics. For instance, aren’t there cases where the cozy cave is more comfortable than the manor? And if that is true, why does one spend so much time thinking about the manor?
    Is this another example of that funny show, Keeping Up Appearances?
    hmmm.

  2. frifris says:

    Interesting video. I actually don’t mind the aesthetic, new material – new ideas. But it would bother me that it biodegrades on me while I’m wearing it ;)

    And it would be interesting to look into the consequences of mass production of this fibre – I think the problem is often not necessarily the product itself, but the negative implications of mass production. Might the acid added have negative effects no one has thought about yet, for example?
    But it’s a really good thing that people are trying to come up with alternatives or additional fabrics which can be used and produced in a more “organic” way.

    Yes, to large extent the environment and the social implications are more important than the aesthetic I think. At least the world would be a different place. But I actually think we could have all three. We would only have to pay more money for what we’re getting. Or use less.

  3. alex says:

    that is really cool! the asthetic is interesting. im not sure i would wear in, at least not from looking at the artist blog. the puppets she makes are awesome tho! i havent watched the ted talk yet. i really like this idea of growing fabric. since it is still living in ‘stasis’ or whatever, i would be really worried about getting it wet. or what if i spilled my tea on it! i like a lot of sugar in my tea, and it might start feeding on the spill and growing! ahhh! like the clothes have a life of their own! lol. sorry, i digress. for now i think ill stick with non living fibers that come from living things, plants, animals, etc. it would be super interesting to try and make this though, and since it is beneficial in a medical sense too, i bet it would make a cool sub in for seaweed in a seaweed wrap. ive never got one of those but it sounds fun to be wrapped in seaweed doesnt it?

  4. Suschna says:

    I watched it, thank you for the link. I like that she just did it like that, tried it out. Now someone else might have to pick up the idea and improve it.

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