“Cocona” is a trademarked name for a lightweight, breathable sports wear fabric derived from coconut-husk waste. It is proven to be warm, water and odor resistant. Of the 50 billion coconuts grown worldwide annually, 85% of the coconut husks end up as trash. “Essentials Materials” a Texas based company has succeeded in transforming this waste product into automotive truck liners, planters and battery covers for electric cars. The process is accomplished by combining the husks with discarded recycled plastics.
In New York City at the Fashion Institute of Technology a “Natural Dye Garden” has opened. It is a project run by the students and was given the support and a grant by the Clinton Global Initiative University. The aim of the garden is to bring awareness and alternatives to the harsh chemicals used in the dying process of fabric. All of the colors are derived from flowers, herbs and vegetables.
One of the newest fabrics being introduced to the luxury market is apparel derived from microbes. To be more specific the root system of mushrooms. Biocouture, founded by Suzanne Lee, has woven a fabric so thin and flexible that it resembles suede. They are now looking into bacteria, yeast and algae as other sources of sustainable production from nature. Sounds a little strange? What about silk made from silkworm excretions.