Lab-grown cotton

Spiber

Despite utilizing a heavy weight fabric, the Planetary Equilibrium Tee boasts a certain soft smoothness. This unique feel was realized by combining Spiber’s Brewed Protein™ material with high quality cotton—in a ratio that matches the makeup of the Earth’s biosphere—before treating the resulting material using our proprietary processing technology.

In the US, GMOs have been widely used for many years in both agriculture and industrial biotechnology to produce everything from cotton, enzymes for washing powders, to insulin

Biofabricate report

Challenges

A common misconception is that these radical new material innovations are ‘just around the corner’. While this may now be true of a few companies, who have already labored for a decade or more, the majority of promising innovations are much earlier in their journey.

Biofabricated materials are challenged in R&D, costs of developing, long timelines involved moving from lab > bench > pilot/demonstration > commercial scale, through to the high performance, aesthetic and manufacturability requirements of materials for the fashion and textile sectors.

Closer partnerships between material innovators and brands will help to ensure that products are developed which truly meet the needs and standards the industry expects

The vast majority of material innovators are still in development stages Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 to 7

Technology Readiness Level: type of measurement system used to assess the maturity level of a particular technology

Valley of death: the difficulty in transitioning a new technology from pilot or demo scale, to being able to supply consistent quality and volume for running on a commercial manufacturing line

THE ISSUE IS NOT LACK OF BRAND ENGAGEMENT, IT IS SIMPLY THE EXTENDED TIME IT TAKES TO CLOSE THE GAP BETWEEN EARLY PROTOTYPES AND REFINING MATERIALS TO MATCH THE LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE, FINISH AND MANUFACTURABILITY EXPECTED BY THOSE BRANDS.

Materials

In the context of material fabrication for fashion, the “living organisms” referred to can include bacteria, yeast, algae, mycelium, and in some instances mammalian cells.

WHEN BACTERIA AND YEAST ARE FED A SUGAR NUTRIENT they ****SECRETE NANOFIBERS of cellulose which form a mat at the top of the fermentation vat

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Companies such as AMSilk, Bolt Threads, Ecovative, Modern Meadow, MOGU, MycoWorks or Spiber among others, represent a new generation of consumer material innovation companies that internally combine expertise in both organism design and engineering, fermentation and textiles and materials science - and all the processes in between

Stages of R&D