Five Sustainable Materials that will Blow Your Mind

Gone are the days when standard materials were Cotton, Nylon and Wool.

7 mins read

We have scouted the market and have found some of the most innovative and mind blowing sustainable materials out there. Gone are the days when standard materials were Cotton, Nylon and Wool. Get ready to be surprised!


Grape Leather

There is nothing like a good glass of wine. But have you ever thought about what happens to all the leftovers from the wine industry that don’t make it to the bottle? Don’t worry, we’re not here to make you feel guilty. We’re here to introduce you to Vegea: an Italian company that turns grape leftovers into vegan leather. Grape leather from Vegea looks and feels like traditional leather from animals but unlike conventional leather, it does not require a lot of water or any heavy metals or toxic chemicals. The remains of the grapes (skins, pulp, seeds and stems) are combined with vegetable oil and water-based polyurethane. Then, the bio-based material is coated onto organic cotton. The result is a leather alternative made from 70% renewable and recycled raw materials. Cheers!


Mushroom Mycelium

If you don’t like mushrooms, it just might be because you haven’t tried them yet in a jacket or dress form. Mushroom mycelium is the vegetative part of fungus. And so much more. The mushroom-based fabric can be tweaked to be enamel and shell-like or as soft as a sponge, depending on the conditions in which the material is grown. When used correctly, the biodegradable fungal material can be used for anything from clothing to lamps to even wall panels. The material has several advantages: it grows extremely fast, it is remarkably flexible, non-toxic and even waterproof.

Just like Grape Leather, Mushroom Mycelium can also be used as a sustainable, animal-free leather alternative. Very recently, Mycelium has even found its way into some of the world’s most iconic and exclusive fashion brands like Stella McCartney and Hermès.


Recycled Plastic

Many of us have become familiar with recycled plastic in one way or another. However, the Italian company ECOPIXEL really do take plastic recycling to the next level. ECOPIXEL is a recycled plastic technology made from 100% shredded waste material. Usually, the material is made from industrial waste as well as household-waste.

Plastic from ECOPIXEL is not only recycled, but also recyclable. This means that the plastic can be remelted an infinite amount of times without losing its properties. In order to minimize the ecological footprint during the transformation, the circular plastic material melts at very low temperatures compared to similar materials. As the material is extremely durable, products from ECOPIXEL are suitable for both indoor and outdoor.

Curious about products from ECOPIXEL? Take a look at the image above of the modern looking stool from YUME – perfect for both sitting and as a side table.

As of late, many new companies have resurfaced with similar technologies like ECOPIXEL. Danish SMALLrevolution are all about circular co-labs where companies can enlist SMALLrevolution to help remake old packaging, dead stock lotion containers, and new products similar to the SMALLrevolution stools and tables.

Milk Fibre

Most people associate old milk with something that needs to be discarded (and for good reason). But believe it or not, old milk can now be fashioned into beautiful clothing. Milk fibre from QMILK is made from waste milk that is not fit for human consumption. It is manufactured with 100% renewable resources and is a totally natural product. A very low amount of energy is needed for the production and the result is almost zero waste and CO2 emissions are minimal.

The process of making milk fibre is more simple than you would actually think. The casein (the solid white substance that surfaces on sour milk) is separated from the rest and then left to dry to obtain a protein powder. The powder is then mixed with water and a machine is responsible for spinning the material into fibres as thin as hair. The result is a highly sustainable and biodegradable material that feels soft on your skin, has an antibacterial effect and helps regulate body heat.

A true game changer within the fashion industry!


Imagine if we could grow clothing. Sounds crazy? We think so too.

But nevertheless, this is the reality for BioCouture, a company located in central London. The company took its name by replacing the old-time classic term of haute couture with a more ecological one. BioCouture uses bacteria to produce materials that can be used to manufacture clothes. There is no spinning, weaving or printing involved, and the recipe is actually quite simple: take some green tea, sugar and microbes and then sit back and watch it grow. After a week, the fabric sheet will be around 2.5 centimetres thick, and after the sheet is dried, it can be moulded into accessories and clothes.

BioCouture produces a wide range of products such as shoes, jackets and skirts that are all compostable and biodegradable. Even though we’re not exactly sure how we feel about wearing some of these creations just yet (they look a little skin-like and appear too stiff for actual wear), we’re still extremely impressed.

Because who knew bacteria could actually be wearable?

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