Biogarmentry UP036

Designer Roya Aghighi teamed up with scientists at the University of British Columbia to invent a living, biodegradable fabric called Biogarmentry. It’s made from algae and it purifies the air around it. The prototype is still in the early stages of research and design, but it challenges the fashion industry — one of the most polluting industries — to reimagine ways to reduce its colossal carbon footprint through alternative fabrics.

Biogarmentry aims to introduce a possible future for textiles by taking active approaches towards change, also explores the application of biology in design to provoke thinking and facilitate new roles and ideals for design.

The work consists of a series of interventions in pursuit of creating a biodegradable living textile capable of photosynthesis. With the help of a group of scientists at the University of British Columbia, designer Roya Aghighi created the first proof of concept for the survival of photosynthetic living cells on natural fabrics–such as different kinds of cellulose and protein based fibers.

The outcome is a 100% natural and biodegradable textile. Both fully compostable and more importantly, while living, the material will work to purify the air through photosynthesis. Since the life cycle of the living photosynthetic textile is directly dependent on how it is taken care of, the work challenges our current relationship to clothing, while acting as a catalyst for behavioral change.

Biogarmentry is designed to address the drastic increase to the environmental impact of textile waste and air pollution. The project employs the fields of synthetic biology and design as a way to open up possibilities for the future of fashion. Biogarmentry also explores what place design should have in our relationship to living things.