Kombucha Is The New Cotton

As humans living in the 21st century, we are constantly benefited by technological advancements in our everyday life. We may not realize it, but the world around us is always in motion, changing, evolving, and developing. Designer, Suzanne Lee, has revolutionized textile production as we know it by using her extensive knowledge on synthetic biology to develop a new way of working with fabric. In her TedTalk, "Grow Your Own Clothes," she details the process of using Kombucha, a symbiotic mix of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms, to create a garment. The process begins when the Kombucha spins its own cellulose while fermenting. The layers created by a controlled fermentation are then dried and used as fabric. After being molded around a 3-D object, the seams of the garment practically sew themselves together. The process is completely natural, organic, and free from toxic dyes. Through ion oxidation, the clothing can naturally change color, reducing the use of environment damaging dyes. Lee is even able to achieve a patterned garment by using fruit and vegetables to stain the fabric. Although these garments aren't practical for everyday wear, using synthetic biology to create biodegradable and sustainable clothing is a step in the right direction. 

To check out Suzanne Lee's TedTalk click here.

Emma Mannal