Australian biomaterial technology company Nanollose says it has created the first wearable garment using the company’s eco-friendly ‘tree-free rayon’ fibre (Nullarbor), sourced from sustainable coconut waste, according to the media reports.
The sweater, the company adds, marks a breakthrough for an industry that is urgently seeking sustainable alternatives to clothing made from traditional rayon and cotton, both of which cause significant environmental issues.
Speaking to the media, Wayne Best, executive chairman at Nanollose, said that they have successfully taken waste and created clothing, and have done it following industrial protocol.
“We didn’t have to cut down any trees to create this sweater, and we have now demonstrated that our ‘tree-free rayon’ fibre can be used in the same way as other commonly-used fibres to make clothing and textiles, without the hefty environmental footprint,” he added.
He also said that they believe that they are the only company producing ‘tree-free rayon’ fibres from waste, and they have now reached a point where our technology is moving out of the laboratory and into the factory.
“Once we achieve this increased scale, manufactures will have an alternative eco-friendly option available to them,” he added.
Nanollose’s biomaterial technology process begins in a facility where microbes naturally ferment liquid waste products from food industries into cellulose, a cotton-like a raw material that then is transformed into their Nullarbor fibre.
Their process to produce cellulose requires very little land, water or energy and a production cycle is just 18 days, compared to the eight months seen in the cotton industry.
Moreover, to ensure Nanollose can supply future partners with commercial qualities of fibre, the company is developing a supply chain within an ecosystem around waste from the Indonesian coconut industry (along with waste streams from other industries), and aims to significantly increase fibre production over the next 3-6 months.