Home / Knowledge / News / Apparel/Garments / Vollebak T-shirt from plants, algae biodegrades in 84 days

Vollebak T-shirt from plants, algae biodegrades in 84 days

Sep '19
Pic: Vollebak
Pic: Vollebak
Three-year-old tech-based clothing start-up vollebak has now created a T-shirt using just plants and algae. Made from pulped eucalyptus and beech from sustainably-managed forests and algae grown in bioreactors, the shirts will biodegrade in 12 weeks. Once in compost, turn into soil, and help new plants to grow. The T-shirt design is made entirely from algae.

The company was founded by twin brothers, designers and athletes Nick and Steve Tidball in the United States.

To turn the algae into a printable ink, vollebak used the technique used in Kenya to create algae cake. Instead of passing lake water through a cotton net, the design team passed water from the bioreactor through a filter. The process separated the algae, leaving a soupy algae paste. That paste was then dried in the sun to create a fine powder, which was mixed with a water-based binder to make algae ink, according to information on the company website.

Eucalyptus, beech, and spruce were chipped and pulped, before being turned into fibre, then yarn, and finally fabric. All the wood is harvested from sustainable forestry plantations and is certified by the programme for the endorsement of forest certification (PEFC)—the largest forest certification system in the world.

Algae cannot survive once removed from water, so the algae on the T-shirt is no longer alive, says Tidball. The natural pigment in algae is more sensitive and won’t behave like colour normally does on clothing. As soon as it comes in contact with air, it starts to oxidise, which means the green will begin to change colour and your T-shirt may look different from one week to the next as it fades, making every T-shirt unique.

The product will soon be on sale. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

Must ReadView All

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 22nd Feb 2020

Pharr sells Pharr High Performance to Coats Group

Pharr, a provider of differentiated textile products and assorted...

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 22nd Feb 2020

TOAI highlights importance of textiles in auto industry

The first edition of the conference 'Textile Opportunities in a...

Pic: Shutterstock

Textiles | On 22nd Feb 2020

Cocona's 37.5 fibres to have new biodegradable additive

All of the 37.5 staple fibres and filament yarns by Cocona, will now...

Interviews View All

Top executives, Textile Industry

Top executives
Textile Industry

We will move away from mass production to production in micro-factories

Ajay Ghariwala, Luthra Group

Ajay Ghariwala
Luthra Group

We are ready to adopt or follow every opportunity

Darshan Mehta, Infinium Polychem

Darshan Mehta
Infinium Polychem

We are spending double digit figures on R&D

Ravindra Jain, Ashish Baid,

Ravindra Jain, Ashish Baid

Oswal Prints Private Limited has been manufacturing and exporting ethnic...

Hans Gerhard Wroblowski,

Hans Gerhard Wroblowski

Germany's Monforts is a leading manufacturer and exporter of textile...

Ken Butts,

Ken Butts

The mission of Swiss company Datacolor is to empower its customers to make ...

Suresh Patel, Sidwin Fabric

Suresh Patel
Sidwin Fabric

Sidwin Fabric is a manufacturer and exporter of polypropylene textiles and ...

Prof Seokheun (Sean) Choi, Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY)

Prof Seokheun (Sean) Choi
Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY)

A team of researchers from the State University of New York (SUNY),...

Marcel Alberts, Eurofibers

Marcel Alberts

Coating at a fibre level is a practice not usually seen in the...

Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao, Nayaab

Rupa Sood and Sharan Apparao

Nayaab, an exhibition meant to celebrate Indian weaves, is in its second...

Adriano Goldschmied, AG Jeans

Adriano Goldschmied
AG Jeans

The hype around 'designer jeans' was created by him. And the new wave of...

Sonam & Paras Modi, SVA

Sonam & Paras Modi

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


Letter To Editor

(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies


Leave your Comments

February 2020

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

Advanced Search