Innovation That Matters

Mi Terro uses waste milk for the fibres, which are spun into yarn for making the t-shirts. | Photo source Mi Terro

T-shirts made with protein fibres from sour milk

Fashion & Beauty

Mi Terro is raising funds on Kickstarter to manufacture clothing made from milk protein that would otherwise go to waste

Spotted: Los Angeles-based startup Mi Terro is manufacturing t-shirts with the help of sour milk. It is able to turn it into fibres, which are spun into yarn.

Creating fibres from milk is not new. The process has actually been in use since the 1930s. The fibres are made from the protein casein, which is separated from sour milk. The casein is dissolved in a solution and forced through a spinneret to produce long fibres. These are then treated to increase their strength and stability.

The milk fibre has the advantage of being very soft, as well as odour-free, highly insulating, antibacterial, wrinkle-resistant and moisture-wicking. The downside is the cost — at around €20 to €30 per kilogram, it is more expensive to produce than cotton or nylon, although cheaper than luxury fibres like silk.

Mi Terro’s milk t-shirts and underwear are available on Kickstarter now, starting at €30 (retail €53). The campaign is already fully-funded, and shipping is planned for January 2020. Mi Terro also plants ten trees with Eden Reforestation Projects for every item sold, and ensures that its Chinese factory pays above fair wage.

Springwise continues to spot innovations making good use of food waste, including a process that turns cheese waste into feedstock and a startup using kitchen waste to make textile dye.



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