We will soon be able to dress ourselves in seaweed as they could well be the eco-friendly ingredient that will minimize the detrimental impact of fashion on the environment. Algae are regenerative organisms with rapid growth and natural biodegradability, and are already abundant in nature. They can also be entirely produced from biological resources, and presents itself today as an excellent replacement for raw materials derived from fossil fuels.
Adam Costello, founder of Inland Sea was troubled by the prevalence of plastic and felt compelled to take action. “As an inland dweller, plastic is everywhere: it overflows in trash cans, spreads on sidewalks, and piles up on grocery store shelves. I knew exactly where all this plastic ended up because I spend the majority of my free time surfing. It was in the ocean. “Investing in a more ecological future and banning the use of harmful materials like polyester has become my personal project. I’m frustrated by the media, which has always promoted the rapacious and destructive capitalist models of the world, rarely considering that the clothes we wear are destructive and ruin the great outdoors,” he explains. “We partnered with the German business Smartfibre in 2022 to produce SeaCellTM. We are now the first company in the UK to spin our own fabric using SeaCellTM.” Inland Sea launched a crowdfunding campaign in 2021 and successfully produced a variety of t-shirts using SeaCellTM, a material containing algae. Although SeaCellTM does not contain only algae, it is a good place to start when examining ways to increase the production of clothing in a more ethical way.
What peculiar qualities does algae possess?
First, compared to an equivalent terrestrial forest, they can absorb up to 20 times more carbon dioxide and don’t require soil, chemicals, pesticides, or water to grow after that. The byproduct can also be turned into paper and used as fertilizer or biofuel. Finally, some species of kelp (brown macroalgae growing in waters of temperate and arctic climates) can grow up to 50 centimeters per day and are abundant and grow at an incredible rate.
What is Seacell?
We created SeaBlend®, a soft fabric that naturally wicks away moisture, by spinning SeaCellTM with fully traceable carbon neutral “super” cotton anti-oxidant-rich and plastic-free entirely. Like LyoCell, SeaCell is a synthetic fiber that degrades completely. Due to the fact that it needs very little water and no fertilizer, it is one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics and seaweed’s inherent qualities are excellent for the skin because they offer antioxidants and defense against free radicals.