Within the environment improvement on our planet, some companies or individuals come up with ideas on how to combine practicality, usefulness and environmental friendliness in one product.
Edible straws from apples and wheat replace disposable plastic straws; dishes made of sugar cane replace disposable plastic dishes. Organic biodegradable coffee eyewear has appeared on the market. Now it’s time for clothes: Revolutionary designers, brothers, and Vollebak’s founders, Nick and Steve Tidball, set a new goal to make clothes made of natural materials with zero ecological footprints.
In August 2019, the brothers presented a T-shirt made of beech cellulose fibers, eucalyptus, printed by algae ink. The garment, made of 100% natural materials, decomposes in 12 weeks and don’t leave an ecological footprint on the planet.
Leave It Anywhere
That T-shirt you can leave in the woods or throw it in the compost.
“When you’ve finished with the t-shirt a few years or a few decades, you have to think [..] consciously about how to dispose of it. You can either bury it in the soil or put it out with the compost,” said Steve Tidball.
All the wood is harvested from sustainable forestry plantations and certified by both the Forestry Sustainability Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
The ink in the t-shirt is created from algae grown in a bioreactor.
The clothes decompose over decades to hundreds of years. Polyester decomposition lasts from 20 to 200 years.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 14.2% of clothes and shoes were recycled in 2015. And11.9 million tonnes of clothing and footwear were thrown away that same year. About 8.2 million tonnes ended up in landfills.
Fabrics from natural fibers like cotton, wool, and silk will biodegrade faster than polyester, but according to Tidball, most of these garments are dyed with chemicals which filter into the soil, or contain elements like metal zips or plastic buttons that don‘t biodegrade.
In the Vollebak t-shirt, every element is made from organic matter and left in its raw state.
“There is no dye, ink, or chemicals to go into the soil. Just plants and algae which are organic matter. So when it disappears in 12 weeks nothing is left behind,” adds Tidball.
“Our idea with all our clothing is to cut down on the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills and [..] make people think differently about how long they could or should own a piece of clothing for,” said Tidball
Using 100% biodegradable products by a consumer society could be a good way to reduce the planet’s harmful waste.