As more and more people become aware of the cruelty behind wool production, new and innovative vegan alternatives to wool are beginning to crop up – and many of them are tapping into sustainable resources to craft all-natural materials that aren't only kind to animals, but tread lightly on our planet as well.
Rayon has been an animal-free wool alternative for a long time, but it's not ideal in terms of environmental impact: millions of trees are cut down every year to create the fabric. To spare both sheep and trees, material innovation company Nanolloose from Australia has created a wool-like material made from coconuts.
Coconuts are a long-standing vegan favorite because of its versatility: coconut milk, coconut oil, and coconut cream are only a few of its uses in the kitchen (and for beauty purposes: coconut oil is an amazing natural eye makeup remover), but its virtues now extend beyond the kitchen and into our wardrobes.
The revolutionary material, named Nullarbor, is created in just 18 days and requires very little water, land, and energy.
How is it made?
Bacteria are used to naturally ferment liquid coconut waste from the food industry into cellulose, which is the building block for the final product.
Waste to clothing
Nanollose Managing Director Alfie Germano says: "We have successfully taken waste and created clothing, and we have done it following industrial protocol. Our fiber was spun into yarn and made into fabric, then manufactured into this garment using existing industrial equipment. It validates our entire process."
New clothing created from waste just might be the future of the fashion industry as the current climate crisis requires us to be more mindful of what we use and how much.
The fashion industry largely contributes to pollution and climate change, so repurposing waste into new materials is an innovative and creative way to indulge our love of style while treading lightly on the planet.