is pioneering a biodesign and manufacture future for fashion, sportswear and luxury brands. Founded by Suzanne Lee in 2003, the BioCouture atelier has explored the use of living cultures of microorganisms (yeast and bacteria) to grow biomaterials like cellulose into sustainable, compostable clothing. BioCouture has recently evolved into a consultancy, building partnerships with emerging biomaterial producers to speculate and shape the future of grown consumer products.
The BioCouture atelier is currently investigating the use of living microorganisms to produce the world’s first ‘grown’ shoe. The ‘En Vie’ exhibition showcases the very first grown prototypes. The film, entitled ‘Shoe Factory Tour’, takes you on a journey around a future bio facility where custom shoes are designed and grown. In a world of increasingly stressed natural resources, environmental challenges and population growth we need to radically rethink what constitutes sustainable consumer products.
The BioCouture shoe speculates on an alternate future where, instead of relying on materials derived from unsustainable petrochemical industries or land needed for food, we move to a biotech model. We propose closed loop systems of synthetically engineered organisms that will ferment materials, directly forming into finished products with no need for chemical dyes or finishes and zero waste. We believe in a beautiful, better, biodesigned future.
2003-2013 — Fashion / Mode — Suzanne Lee (art director), Liz Ciokajlo-Squire (shoe designer), Aaron Lampert (animation and sound design), Thomas Makryniotis, (3D renderings) — www.biocouture.co.uk
Scientist Gary Cass and artist Donna Franklin in Australia have collaborated on a project in which they created a seamless dress using fermented wine. Wine is fermented for a couple of days and turns into a skin or leather like formation. The cellulose material feels similar to cotton and has a strong smell. The material is biodegradable. It also eliminates the need for sewing.
Both projects seem to have the potential of having a positive impact on the world of sustainable fashion. Suzanne Lee in her TED Talk even envisions that one day we will be growing our own furniture, garments, houses etc.
Let me know your thoughts.