Innovation That Matters

Clothing makes up 7.6 per cent of the waste in US landfills. | Photo source Vollebak

Clothing startup makes biodegradable t-shirts from plants

Fashion & Beauty

A t-shirt made from pulped eucalyptus and beech that decomposes in 12 weeks

Spotted: London-based clothing startup Vollebak is making a t-shirt entirely from plant and algae materials. The whole t-shirt, including the ink on the logo, is biodegradable.

The t-shirt is made from eucalyptus and beech trees, taken from sustainably managed forests. The wood is then chipped and pulped into a fibre. The ink used in the design is made from algae grown in bioreactors. The entire t-shirt breaks down into “worm food” in three months, according to Vollebak. 

The five-year-old clothing startup was founded by twin brothers Nick and Steve Tidbal. The two have already won awards and accolades for other science-meets-fashion garments, like their solar-charged running jacket. The t-shirt is still in production. Vollebak is accepting pre-orders on its website.  

In addition to Vollebak’s biodegradable t-shirts, similar efforts have been introduced by H&M with their fabric made from pineapple leaves and the Scottish fashion line Seaweed Girl, which uses seaweed in almost every element of their designs.



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