Equipment / ProcessStartup ScoutSustainability

Soluble t-shirt colored with carbon dioxide absorbing algae

Luftkuss Atelier

Almost everyone has a black clothing piece in their wardrobe. The raw material of black, which is undoubtedly one of the most popular colors in the fashion world, is petroleum. We encounter the black color produced from carbon black not only in our clothes, but also in all areas of life. It appears in every field from plastic to ink, from cables to rubber. 

The way carbon black is produced is not at all environmentally friendly or sustainable. While extracting oil affects all vegetation and living things in the region, greenhouse gases are dispersed to the planet due to the oil burned during the production process. 

The worst part is that this production process has been going on for more than a century. While there are so many problems with carbon black, it is necessary to look for ways to produce black in a more environmentally friendly way on behalf of the ecosystem.

A sustainable solution for the color black

The best way to produce sustainable solutions is to make longer-lasting clothes for people by following technological developments. While doing this, it is necessary to minimize the damage to the environment during the production process. 

Producing sustainable solutions with scientific and technological approaches in its designs, Vollebak brings a more environmentally friendly approach to the color black. Vollebak obtains its black pigment naturally by using black algae and comes up with a product called Black Algae T-Shirt. The company, which cooperates with the biomaterial company Living Ink, which has an algae farm; produces a more sustainable solution for the most preferred black color in fashion with the Black Algae T-Shirt, which can be transformed again in nature after its use.

The production process of black prepared from algae is quite environmentally friendly, unlike carbon black. Because algae perform photosynthesis to thrive. Only the sun and carbon dioxide are needed for the growth of black algae grown in ponds. 

Spirulina algae, a type of blue-green algae, is grown in large ponds and most of the algae is used to make natural food dyes. The remaining waste product is dried and ground. It is heat treated after the process. In this way, the carbon dioxide absorbed by the algae throughout this process is also trapped inside.

Algae store the carbon dioxide for 100 years

Each T-shirt is produced using sustainably managed and harvested eucalyptus trees. The trees are first turned into pulp, then into yarn and fabric. 99% of the water and solvents used during this conversion can be recycled and reused. 

Normally, black yarn is produced to make a black T-shirt. However, this is not how the process works for the Black Algae T-Shirt. After the fabric obtained from trees is turned into a t-shirt, it is colored by printing management. Black algae ink is UV resistant. In this way, it preserves its color for years.

Since the entire production process of the t-shirt is vegetal, it can be completely decomposed within 12 weeks after being placed in the soil. After the dissolution process, the black algae ink remains in pieces so small that it is almost imperceptible, and keeps the carbon it stored in it hidden for another 100 years.

This is not the first time that black algae has been used as a pigment. Black algae is also used for natural food dyes and ink. It is possible to use black algae instead of carbon black in the fashion industry and thus reduce the carbon footprint.

Insprad Creative Agency

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