When science meets sartorial: the skirt and shoe made from kombucha

TED Blog

What might our clothes look like in 50 years? When textile designer Suzanne Lee was researching her book, Fashioning the Future, she found the most interesting answers to that question when she looked beyond the traditional borders of fashion design. Beyond cut, color and cloth, our style in 50 years will be driven by new materials from the corners of science. With biologists, engineers and materials scientists, she realized, she could create an entirely new strain of fashion.

In 2003, Lee met materials scientist David Hepworth, founder of the Scotland-based firm Cellucomp, which develops materials made from non-hydrocarbon-based feedstock. His advice: “Instead of thinking about fiber production from a source like cotton in a field — an agricultural approach — we could look to living organisms like bacteria to produce fibers for us.”

So that’s what they have done. Hepworth and Lee started growing materials, at first in Hepworth’s…

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