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bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home

full visibility of production in bioplastic garments by NOT x LIENX 

 

NOT x LIENX shapes a three-piece capsule collection made of agar bioplastic discovering simple food ingredients’ properties in fabric making. Jenny Lai, founder of independent New York-based fashion brand NOT, and Lien Tong, multidisciplinary artist, apparel designer, and co-founder of California-based Gem Studio, collaborated on the collection.

 

Given that the fashion industry produces 92 million tons of textile waste a year, with only 13.6% getting recycled and less than 1% of the recycled material being modified into new clothes, the duo decided to explore creative and sustainable garment options. The complexity of the apparel supply chain and the difficulty of following the lifecycle of fabrics were the motivation leading to the team’s own fully visible, material production.

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
gluing layers of agar bioplastic with starch-based glue | images by Jenny Lai + Lien X Tong unless stated otherwise

 

 

three food store materials compose sustainable couture items

 

The generated fabric is made out of agar agar, a gelatinous powder derivative from red algae, vegetable glycerin, and water, and can be easily mixed and produced at home. Compared to synthetic fabrics that take hundreds of years to decompose, agar bioplastic decomposes in a few months, and offcuts can be recycled, boiled down, and reused to create new bioplastic following a fully circular system. The agar mixture gets heated, dyed with food coloring, then poured into flat aluminum trays and left to dry for three to five days.

 

The designers embedded different materials into the liquid, and, later, pleated, folded, cut, and glued the bioplastic into various shapes and textures. The final fabricated material, sometimes referred to as ‘bioplastic foil’, resembles thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), presents a translucent appearance, and is edible. The hand-crafted and innovative surface manipulations form a three-piece couture out of agar bioplastic, with the garments’ decomposition and upcycling plan still in progress.

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
embedding cotton netting into liquid bioplastic before drying

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
lace-like top made out of cut and textured agar bioplastic draped on a form in progress

bioplastic-couture-designboom-1800-2

NOT x LIENX, model Sitalbanat Muktari | image by Jeff Saint Andrews

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
hem adjusting, model Sitalbanat Muktari

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
NOT x LIENX, model Sitalbanat Muktari | image by Jeff Saint Andrews

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
NOT x LIENX, model Sitalbanat Muktari | image by Jeff Saint Andrews

bioplastic-couture-designboom-1800-3

NOT x LIENX | image by Jeff Saint Andrews

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
lace embedded agar bioplastic skirt in field | image by Jeff Saint Andrews

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
NOT x LIENX, model Sitalbanat Muktari | image by Jeff Saint Andrews

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
NOT x LIENX, model Sitalbanat Muktari | image by Jeff Saint Andrews

bioplastic-couture-designboom-1800-1

NOT x LIENX, model Sitalbanat Muktari | image by Jeff Saint Andrews

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
experimenting with agar bioplastic in different molds and embedding different materials

bioplastic couture collection explores sustainable fabric options made at home
three ingredients were used: agar agar, water, glycerin

 

 

project info:

 

name: NOT x LIENX
designer: Jenny Lai | @not_aligneLien X Tong | @lienxtong
design residency: Gem Studio Oakland | @gem.studio.oak

photography: Jeff St. Andrews | @jeffsaintandrews

model: Sitalbanat Muktari | @simplyyfallingg_

agar bioplastic recipe: from Materiom | @materiom_

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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