‘Designed to Decompose’ Aims for a ‘Bio-Compatible’ Fashion System – WWD

Garbage could be the basis for change, according to a new initiative launched Tuesday, dubbed the “Designed to Decompose” initiative.

Through this multi-year effort, the nonprofit The Biomimicry Institute (founded by biologist and author Janine Benyus) will seek to pilot commercial-ready composting technologies to transform clothing. waste and document into biocompatible raw materials – or those that blend in with nature and eventually decompose.

Wool and mycelium (fungal skin) are some of today’s biocompatible materials, and commercially available technologies including microbial, enzymatic and anaerobic digestion are on the agenda for change. decomposers.

The Bioassay Institute looked at more than 130 different technologies in preparation for the test.

“The biggest question is, ‘How do we get? fashion to function as an ecosystem?, and it goes back to following the adaptive cycle that nature follows, that is: primary production, consumption, and decomposition. And what we have right now is missing that link,” Beth Rattner, executive director of the Biomimicry Institute, told WWD. Rattner considers himself a systems thinker, or someone who considers all parts of the whole. “When you go from consumption back to primary production without any form of nourishment back into the system, and I mean the planetary system – not just the fashion system – you are missing out on a piece of the puzzle. large of the triangle.”

The pilot process will last two years, involving a number of partners in the region, among them The Or Foundation, Institute of Metabolism, Hong Kong Textile Research Institute, University of Ghana, Yale University, Accelerating Circularity, Collective Celery Design and the California Product Regulatory Council. The Laudes Foundation provided catalytic funding for the initial funding ($2.8 million total) to start the trials in Western Europe and Ghana.

While the Bioresearch Institute did not disclose the launch partner companies, retailers and “big brands in the outdoor industry” are said to be in conversation.

The institute and its partners will explore composting options, demonstrate affordable and scalable solutions, the biology behind composting, and the ultimate proof of concept. This initiative stems from a report released last year on “The Nature of Fashion,” in which the Biomimicry Institute detailed the benefits of understanding biocompatibility in fibers and moving to a regenerative fashion system.

Rattner hopes that this initiative is just the beginning.

“This two-year pilot is not going to change the whole system, it is enough to be a proof-of-concept for more investment. [in decomposition] by brands, by waste management companies, by cities, etc. And that will be the winner,” she said.

Pilots seek to approach decomposition from all social and environmental perspectives.

Together with the Institute of Metabolism, The Or Foundation, a non-profit that is working to change the landscape of waste equity in Ghana, will be a strategic partner with the Bioresearch Institute to advance solutions. social justice in the pilot process. According to The Or The Establishment.

“From a biomimetic perspective, we are looking at system design that is truly in the context of the natural world – and without giving way to some loose requirements,” said Lex Amore, director of communications at the Biomimicry Institute. from the industry to maintain ‘business as usual’. “Ultimately, we do not believe that the current synthetic fiber storage system makes sense for rotation. It is an illusion that we can control the engineering loop, and in fact it has been refuted with many impacts from microplastics. It will be distributed, and this initiative helps to do something about it. “

As for what makes this initiative different, Amore said, “what sets this pilot apart from the others is that we are actually going to tackle waste at the same time by integrating the decomposing technology works, while also removing hazardous materials from the rotation to move into the system we really wanted to design. ”

In a competitive fashion industry with overproduction, the aviator seeks to explore the idea of ​​nature’s abundance. ‘Designed to Decompose’ Aims for a ‘Bio-Compatible’ Fashion System – WWD


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