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Living, breathing, wearable plants now available for purchase

by Sarah Sharif, Jul 23
2 minutes read

Canadian designer, Olivia Rubens collaborated with London concept store Machine-A and biotech startup Post Carbon Lab to create the collection, which she says “is about finding as many opportunities as we can in this journey into biodesign and biomimicry”. This includes new concepts now available from wearable plants to probiotic skin wear.

“Each green garment, from balaclavas to handbags, “breathes and lives like plants”, Rubens says, thanks to a photosynthesis coating, which needs unique but simple care in order to stay climate positive. Unlike plant-based derivatives, for these garments to survive they need sunlight and moisture to actively exhale oxygen. On sale in April, the wearable plants from Rubens’s Photosynthesize collection sold for around $300 each.

With the limited-run items already sold out, Rubens is at the forefront of fashion’s biocouture movement, which could unlock access to more sustainable materials and methods of production by offering up edgy potential looks to customers and stretching the use-case of a part of science still largely left in labs.

Biocouture, a mix of material engineering, synthetic biology and delicate sewing, is a new entrant into luxury’s lexicon, coined around 2012 as a term by Suzanne Lee, a Brooklyn-based fashion designer with her then biodesign startup and Launch project introducing the idea how clothes could be manufactured using bacteria. It covers the concept of designing garments and products using living microorganisms such as bacteria. Not to be confused with alternative plant-based materials like Mycelium, these microorganisms live or hibernate in garments.

So what?

This signal of change is an opportunity ranging from new wellness fabrics, treating skin diseases to capturing carbon by wearing a t-shirt. Additionally, significant less manufacturing strain with longer-run items which need human care.

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by Sarah Sharif Spotted 1 signal

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