Dyes have always been sourced from oil products. Only a tiny proportion of modern dyes are from natural origin: plant or animal-based substances used for thousands of years. Introducing botech enables biological feedstocks to be converted into competitive dyes. The challenge is to use biogenic dyes, a sustainable dyeing technique that is still in its infancy, aiming towards the future of sustainable textile dyeing. The dyeing process pollutes 20% of industrialised water and creates vast amounts of CO2. Dyes can be toxic to our bodies and the fashion industry desperately needs sustainable dyeing innovators as this is one of its biggest polluters.
With this ongoing collaboration, the partnership will create a biannual capsule collection. The team wishes to produce two basic garments for this Project: A coat and a dress to create a total sustainable look dyed with bacteria, showcasing the potential of this innovative process.
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It all started when Loreto attended the Wear It innovation summit in Berlin in 2019. Karin from the Vienna Textile Lab was one of the key speakers there; she was explaining her innovative work with biogenic dyes. Loreto was very impressed by the process, incredible patterns and colors, but most of all by the revolutionizing technology that is one of the most promising innovations to curb the immense pollution and water waste created by the use of chemical dyes.
Loreto knew she wanted to collaborate with The Vienna Textile lab and thought that applying for the Worth Partnership project together would be an incredible opportunity to create a project together.
THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT
Our project was born out of the impending need to revert the textile dyeing industries biggest problem, which is it´s water waste, and pollution problem. Petrochemical dyes amount to about 20% of industrialized water pollution, they are toxic not only for the environment but for the living beings that work and live around the factories that produce and apply these. Also for the customer that wears it.
We aim to revolutionize our customer’s wardrobes through avant garde, unique and luxurious garments.
Through the use of biogenic dyes these limited edition, bi-annual, capsule collections look to bring one of a kind, sustainable and ethical fashion into the market.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
The development of our first sustainably dyed collection with microorganisms has been almost 2 years in the making. The process of working with living organisms is a very exciting one as results are never the same. This is something that we value greatly, the uniqueness of the process and of the end results. But at the same time it can be a problem as it is quite complicated to repeat a ¨pattern¨ or technique as each dye session is unique and some many different factors go into it.
The collaboration has been incredibly rewarding. Both partners have learnt so much from each other and we have built a long lasting bond. Loreto has had the incredible opportunity of working in the lab and experimenting with dyeing with microorganisms. Karin and the members of the lab have gotten the opportunity to understand and be closer to the design process behind the making of the clothes.
The way the partners imagine this future collaboration is by gradually creating new capsule collections to sell to the public. We are in the process of scaling up and would definitely need more support and investment to keep going with our project.
The beauty of collaborations, especially cross sectional ones, is that partners get to learn and comprehend the methodology and processes applied by other sectors. Co-creation has the potential to generate new and exiting solutions as people from different backgrounds get to work together.