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Algae…so hot right now.

This really takes the phrase breathing life into the room to the next level. Apologies in advance for some sciency words. Some very clever people from the University of Rochester and Delft University of Technology have teamed up and are using 3-d printers as well as new technology, to print algae into a material that is strong, flexible, and here’s the kicker, can photosynthesise. For anyone who doesn’t know, photosynthesis is when plants take in Co2 from the atmosphere, and turn it into simple sugars and oxygen, making our lives generally a greener and happier place.

These so-called living functional materials could have an amazing application, not just in making fresh threads. They could be used to make artificial leaves, photosynthetic skins for covering buildings or cars, or even sails for boats.

The amazing thing about the possibility of using this technology in fabrics is that it addresses many of the problems associated with the current clothing and textile industry, the cultivation of monocultures, the energy required to make the item and what to do with it when it’s no longer usable (or fashionable if you’re particularly vein). These clothes would be sustainably produced, completely biodegradable and would even purify the bloody air!

Click here to learn more about our wonderful algae buddies.

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