Project Info
Theme/Year
Climate Change 2017
Project Overview

AlgiKnit is a sustainable biomaterials research group based in New York. We are investigating readily abundant biopolymers to produce functional textiles and wearable products with a dramatically reduced environmental footprint relative to conventional agricultural and petroleum based textiles. Taking inspiration from nature, where ecosystems have evolved to enable efficient utilization of energy and matter with complete recycling of biomass and nutrients, we have replicated that process and taken a biomimetic approach to creating wearable textiles from readily abundant biopolymers. To this end, we have developed a range of knit textiles based on a biopolymer derived from seaweed. The monofilaments have sufficient stretch and strength to be hand or machine knit, assembled into fabrics with flexible form factors and used in existing textile manufacturing infrastructures. The filaments readily absorb pigment from a variety of plants, so that the large water demands and toxicity of conventional dye processes may also be avoided. We have created seamless knitting swatches and a fully fashioned, seamless sweater (miniature scale), further embodying a zero waste design concept. We envision the next generation of sustainable, wearable and ethical materials, produced within a closed loop life cycle processes, utilizing materials with a significantly lower environmental footprint than conventional agricultural or petroleum-based textiles (e.g. cotton and polyester). Our goal is to bring sustainable bio-based textile alternatives into the 21st Century footwear and apparel industries.

Team Members

Aleksandra Gosiewski, Aaron Nesser, Tessa Callaghan, Asta Skocir

School
Fashion Institute of Technology
Location
New York, United States, New York