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In the fashion industry, trends last for about six months, and are recycled very quickly. There are trends that exceed their lifespan and last longer as long as a year or two. With the possible exception of classics such as the ‘little black dress’, almost all styles fade away as time passes. Eco-fashion is breaking fashion rules and has gained momentum in the past few years with no intention of slowing down anytime soon. Fashion and industrial designers are uniting under the banner of "sustainability" to uncover new methods and redefine the usage of natural materials to suit the eco-conscious present and environmentally friendly future.
The latest designer to hop on the eco-friendly bandwagon is Central Saint Martins Senior Research Fellow Suzanne Lee, who’s past ventures include "Fashioning the Future", a book that explores integrating technology with wearable apparel. Lee, along with synthetic biologist, Professor Paul Freemont and chemical engineer, Professor Alexander Bismarck, devised BioCouture, an endeavor that sustainably grows textile biomaterial. This alternative manufacturing method uses bacterial-cellulose, which is sprung from a mixture of harmless bacteria, yeast and green tea, and is produced over a period of about two weeks. The vegetable leather-like material is then either molded or conventionally cut and sewn, it could also be colored with a lesser consumption of dye than that of regular clothes.
When the time comes for consumers to update their seasonal collection, or if the outfit is no longer in use, the green biodegradable fabric could then be purged of sustainably. Consumers will not be wearing the fashionable outcomes of Lee’s experimentations with biotechnology any time soon, as they are still in the prototype phase. However, Lee, Freemont and Bismarck will continue their research to further adjust and enhance BioCouture.