Future plant-based fabrics: Sugar Bagasse

Would you wear clothing made from pineapple or banana leaves? What about mushrooms?

It is a really exciting time for designers and for the history of design as we switch from synthetics to compostable fabrics as the norm. Amazing plant-based fabrics are catapulting a new era of fiber and fabrics. 

It looks like fibrous plants are particularly suited for creating fabric.

Is the quality of these experimental materials good enough? When you see examples of sugar cane, pineapple, cork, and or coffee materials, you will never touch synthetics again.  Imagine what you could make with such materials?

There are now innovative fabrics made from just jute, from grass such as the sikki from sikki or madhurkati grass, 

And guess what? Not only are they exceptionally sustainable, but they also surprisingly not expensive. 

All kinds of plants have been the foundation of fabrics for centuries. Only in a single century have we become so reliant on synthetics. At last, innovation in plant-based materials can rival the glitter and lore of synthetics.

Beyond the better naturals such as wool, organic cotton (despite high water consumption), silk, hemp, Jute, linen, and bamboo, materials made from typically discarded plant waste are sustainably regenerative. What DIYer or creative wouldn’t get excited at these new prospects for design.

Green consumers are increasingly demanding products that have a low carbon footprint and deal with other environmental hazards. Inventors and manufacturers are responding in kind. Here below are some super wonderful innovations in ecological materials to use to make stuff.

SUGAR FASHION

The sugar plant (Sugarcane) is completely renewable. The fibrous part used is called Bagasse. Sugarcane is a great alternative fibre for clothing and can be used for a variety of fashion materials. For instance, the company AllBirds have invented a pliable rubbery material called SweetFoam™, and have designed a Sweetfoam flip-flop, made from fibres of sugarcane. They stated that it is “carbon-negative, which means that it actually takes carbon out of the atmosphere rather than emitting it”. Although they are not currently producing them, here is a photograph of sugar sandals for inspiration.

SweetFoam™ Sandals by AllBirds 

 

The carbon footprint of the shoe industry is huge, with high energy consumption and high production of waste.  One way to tackle the issue is to use sustainable materials to make shoes. 

 

 

Resources:

https://www.fibre2fashion.com/industry-article/7048/sugarcane-fibres

https://www.allbirds.com/pages/our-materials-sugar

 

 

Sharifa Jamaldin