*Disclaimer: All photos displayed are taken from Suzanne Lee’s Ted Talks video. All credits to their rightful owners*
Fashion of the future, for the future.
A new year means new trends to look forward to and that’s no different with kombucha. Kombucha is known for all of its lovely detoxifying and probiotic properties aiding in gut health, but is simply drinking this delicious liquid all there is to it?
The saying “don’t play with your food” has gone far out the window with London-based fashion designer, Suzanne Lee, who has figured out a way to incorporate kombucha with fashion. The innovative designer has discovered how to create clothes out of...wait for it…SCOBY’s!! Not only can you use a SCOBY to help aid in digestion and gut health, but now you can wear it too!
The process goes a little something like this...
Lee essentially brews multiple bathtub's worth of kombucha at a time to make sure she has enough material to create her clothing--she calls this her “fabric farm”.
Brewing up kombucha // Suzanne Lee’s fabric farm
Once the SCOBY has formed enough to handle, it’s taken out and let to dry on large wooden boards. In some cases, the SCOBY is formed over 3D objects, such as shoe molds, while it’s still wet and then let to dry. The SCOBY that is dried flat are used similar to regular fabric to create items like vests and jackets.
Preparing the SCOBY to dehydrate // SCOBY vest and shoe
When the desired article of clothing is sewn the designer uses a natural dye to give it various colours and patterns. The clothes are fully wearable and you can even see the designer wearing her creation in her Ted Talk video.
Lee’s SCOBY Bomber Jacket
After doing some extra searching, it seems that Suzanne Lee isn’t the only one who has picked up this trend of making living clothing. Designer Sacha Laurin, who started out as a cheesemaker, now creates amazing kombucha jewelry and couture which is sold at her online Etsy shop, Kombucha Couture. Even scientists have begun studying the ability of creating sustainable clothing from SCOBY’s. Queensland’s Dr Peter Musk described the material created from the probiotic rich disc as “vegan leather,” making it friendly for everyone to wear.
The only downside to this living clothing is that it’s not water resistant so you are limited to where and when you can wear the items, but could this be the start of a fully sustainable lifestyle for the future? Are we going to be wearing all of our food items?
Would you wear clothes made from SCOBY?
Watch Suzanne Lee’s Ted Talk here.