Creating sustainable fabrics using wine, beer and coconut water | Enterprising Australians

Creating sustainable fabrics using wine, beer and coconut water | Enterprising Australians


My name’s Gary Cass, I call myself a creative scientist That’s someone who uses scientific objects
for an artistic outcome. My invention is fermented fashion. That is, the first dresses in the world
made from the bacterial fermentation of wine, beer, and coconut water. It happened about 20-odd years ago in a vineyard, down in the South West of Australia where I made a mistake in the winery. I contaminated a vat of wine with some of this bacteria. Now it was a non-harmful, non-infectious bacteria and that bacteria called acetobacter
converted the wine into vinegar. The byproduct of that conversion of wine to vinegar Is this slimy, sludgey, material
that formed on the top of the vat. Many years later, when I was working with
a fashion designer Donna Franklin and we were looking at the future of fashion, and trying to find more environmentally sustainable fabrics my mind shot back to this material
that I had found in the vineyard. We did a bit of research on this material
and found that it was a cellulose product. Now, if we know anything about cellulose and cellulose fibres that’s what cotton is made from So it didn’t take us too long to work out that
if it was a cotton-like material, we can make garments from it. We were having a bit of fun initially.
You know, myself and Donna in the laboratory we were putting these garments together. We did a photo shoot, and all of a sudden the world’s press got hold of it
and it just went crazy. So that sort of drove us on to making
more garments, to try and improve the garments making them more wearable,
which we’re still doing today. One of the other industries that we’ll look
into will be the horticulture world We can now actually grow plants
and germinate seeds on this medium. Nanallose’s plant-free cellulose fibres
are very similar, physically, to collagen fibres We’ve now found that we can grow eardrum cells,
liver cells, human and muscle cells, on our fibre. So all of a sudden we’re going to try
and see if we can use our plant-free cellulose as a scaffold for regenerative tissue engineering. Within the next year or two, we would like to get
our plant-free cellulose fibres out into the fashion world. We want the world to be wearing our garments. I believe that it’s not what you know
and how much you know but on your ability to be creative It’s these creative people that will be
the problem solvers of the future.

2 Replies to “Creating sustainable fabrics using wine, beer and coconut water | Enterprising Australians”

  1. Great to see this develop from the early experimental and exhibition stages, into a commercial as well as creative solution! Always love how your brain works in so many different spheres…..we will have to feature this on the Dr Egg Adventure Lab web page!!!

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