Circular Systems, a clean-tech new materials company focused on the development of innovative technologies, is making it possible for food waste to be turned into wearable fibers.
Globally, about 100 billion bananas are eaten every year, which leaves about 270 million tons of waste from banana peels and stalks. Banana remains are often burned or end up rotting. When they are burned, the air is polluted. When they rot, methane is released into the atmosphere, and global warming becomes an even greater threat.
Isaac Nichelson, founder of Circular Systems and longtime promoter of sustainability in the global fashion industry, discovered that food crop waste from foods like bananas and pineapples can be collected and spun into a natural fiber, which can then be woven into clothing.
With Circular Systems, Nichelson is figuring out how to convert these natural waste fibers into functional materials. Nichelson hopes to start a shift in the fashion industry that focuses on sustainable production and sourcing.
Circular Systems consists of three different technologies. The Agraloop Bio-Refinery is an exclusive system that turns crop waste into textiles. The Texloop then turns the textile scraps and used clothing into new fibers. Finally, another exclusive technology called Orbital, spins the food crop waste fibers and textile waste fibers together. The end result is a new yarn product that can be used to create clothing.
Although sustainable production and sourcing is slower, it’s the direction the fashion industry should be heading in. In the long run, sustainability will be better for business, and more importantly, better for the planet.
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