Starting as a team winning first place in the Portland State University Cleantech Challenge 2023, and going on to win the Visionary Award at InventOregon, Team 'Bucha works as artist-scientists, innovating through play with biotextiles.
Second only to the oil industry, fashion is the 2nd largest polluter worldwide. For one leather jacket, over 1000 sq. meters of land must be cleared, and that land is often rainforest.
Biotextiles are the answer to many of the fashion industry's major issues. Myself and my team have been exploring working with kombucha biotextile, a material that is easy to produce and has a lot of untapped potential. Below are some of the kombucha textile samples we've been making – some is airy and light like plastic or lightweight rainwear, and some is dense and thick like leather.
Biotextile would fundamentally change the apparel industry, which has been getting less and less sustainable, both environmentally and financially. With an increasingly less predictable market and tighter and tighter turnaround times, the industry is ready for a refresh with saner, simpler, and more cost effective solutions.
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