Biogarmentry is an amalgamation of nature, science, and design in fashion form. Its creation occurred at a lab of the University of British Columbia, as part of an ecological endeavour to counteract fast fashion’s impact on the environment. Centred on synthetic biology, it consists of organic materials, whose designing ethos is symbiotic with the environment and its organisms, as nature integrates into the fabric. The fabric itself consists of the interweaving of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a type of single-cell green algae, with nano polymers.
This results in a photosynthesizing textile that is environmentally friendly and innovative in its stylistic approach, similar to linen. Its ideal shifts the automatic consumerist approach to clothing, strengthening sustainability practices in their interaction with nature’s supplies. Biogarmentry embodies awareness around fashion production and the toxicity of mainstream fabrics, contributing to the ecological dialogue regarding lowering waste and carbon emissions. The model of buy-use-dispose is now replaced with intentional, modest purchases and production principles that restore peoples’ perspective of and relationship with their clothes.
Similar practices have been around for a long time, with many tribes around the world using plants for their clothing, especially for their traditional wear, such as the Hawaiian, Guatemalan and Maya. The traditional Hawaiian clothing base consists of loincloths with flowers and grass skirts emblematic of this ecological sentiment. Traditional garments, steeped in culture, continue to influence Hawaiian clothing to this day, with rubber slippers, board shorts and T-shirts, maintaining their day-to-day wear for Hawaiian men, women, and children.
Similarly, indigenous clothing in Guatemala varies depending on the regional traditions and customs, amounting to 800 stylistic expressions. The traditional indigenous Maya garment, traje tipico, differs depending on the messages its colour palette relates, as well as the group it represents to the rest of the community. Their weaving practices have inspired and thus reflect the values of biogarmentry in their implementation of flowers, herbs and even bark to dye the fabrics, while supplying their materials from the immediate ecosystem.
Eco- friendly runways and media exposure can raise awareness regarding biodesign, so people can embrace an informed thought process on fast fashion and reduce their ecological impact. Without a doubt, nature still inspires fashion designers around the world, which is evident in trends involving elements of flora, fauna, jungle, and aquatic life.
Written by Stelios Tsolakis
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