Food for Thought, How to Biodesign, New Materials

Regenerative textiles for the greater good – recap How To Biodesign #4

How To Biodesign – 4 (4)

Regenerative is a difficult word to explain. Four bioneers gave a meaning to the concept during How to Biodesign #4 in the conversation on how to have futureproof – naturefriendly fashion materials. Our dearest host Tessa Callaghan ,co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer of Algiknit was able to ask sharp questions and moderate this conversation with three very special founders questioning the status quo in the fashion industry. Thanks to Herman Weeda, the conversation is mapped out in this visual summary.

This month’s speakers

ANIELA HOITINK – Mycotex & Neffa

Yes the fashion industry is extremely polluting. This sector is in need for innovation that goes beyond saving water in an existing production process. Biodesigners all over the world investigate what innovations can be created to disrupt the existing negative impact. In the Netherlands, Neffa, founded by biodesigner Aniela Hoitink grows a textile from the rootnetwork of mushrooms. Her work was awarded by H&M Global Change Award in 2018.

KARIN FLECK – Vienna Textile Lab

In Vienna, a chemist works with her team on colors of tomorrow. No chemicals, only biology: that is her aim. And she cooperates with bacteria to make this reality. Bacteria has an enormous beneficial quality which Vienna Textile Lab is able to turn into one of the most beautiful things in the world – COLOR. Vienna Textile Lab fabricates organic colors made by naturally occurring bacteria in order to provide the most sustainable, wholesome and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional synthetic colors. The Lab helps designers use new type of materials, methods and concepts in the textile business. Vienna Textile Lab makes dyeing go easy on human and ecological resources.

Karin completed her PhD in chemistry on organometallics and her masters in analytic chemistry. She had various managerial positions in the energy trading business and lived in Europe and Australia.

HANNES SCHOENEGGER – co-founder of design studio QWSTION and BANANATEX.

In response to the plastic pollution problem, founders of Swiss backpack brand QWSTION spent three years developing a circular, zero-waste material that they could use in their own collection — and thus, durable, waterproof fabric called Bananatex® was born.

Recently featured in our 9th Future Fabrics Expo, Bananatex® material is a made from banana plants called the Abaća. Finishing treatments with a low environmental impact are applied to the fabric for durability, such as Ruco®-Dry Eco Plus water-repellent treatment (for the surface) & waterproof natural wax coating (on the backside). In addition, the yarn dyeing method applied is certified to Oeko-Tex® Standard 100.  Bananatex® can be composted to close the product cycle loop, from plant to bag and back into the soil.

How to Biodesign Meetup

Climate crisis asks for regenerative design. With the meetup series How to Biodesign, BlueCity Lab provides a platform for and by bioneers (pioneers in biodesign). Together with William Myers (curator, author, and teacher in Biodesign), we explore the opportunities from a systemic approach to raw material flows, making smart use of the latest knowledge and expertise about circular design, but also from biotechnology and biochemistry.

The monthly meet-ups facilitate interaction between bioneers who are already working and those who want to get started with biodesign and biofabrication, provide a platform for sharing stories and experiences and actively share knowledge, know-how and insights from the meetups to a broader audience.

Let’s stay connected

– You are welcome to join this linkedin group for Bioneers to be able to connect with each other outside these meetups.
– Check out the Guardian article on BlueCity. And follow BlueCity Lab on instagram to stay tuned on what’s growing in our Lab
– In case you have no clue what we were talking about when mentioning the Doughnut Economy: check this video for the great work of Kate Raworth and her team.
– You’re invited to the upcoming How To Biodesign meetups, check the agenda of BlueCity for upcoming meetups.