Circular Systems wants to turn banana peels, pineapple leaves, sugarcane bark, and plant stalks into wearable clothes — and you probably wouldn’t even notice they were made from food waste.
The process starts on farms where farmers send their food waste to process at mini-mills. The waste is then turned into comfortable and low-cost bio-fibers that can be made into regular clothes.
Food crop waste is often burned or left to rot, releasing carbon dioxide and methane gas into the air. But this new method could turn that waste into 250 million tons of wearable fiber, and could also provide farmers with extra income and create more jobs.
Circular Systems is a startup that works to turn natural waste fibers into usable material. They describe themselves as “a clean-tech new materials company, focused on the development of innovative circular and regenerative technologies.” This is getting more important for the fashion industry, which is expected to see losses of three to four percent if it doesn’t change its supply chain to be more sustainable.
Using natural materials to create clothes isn’t new — but it’s becoming less popular. In 1960, 97% of fibers came from plants and animals, but today it only accounts for 35%, because synthetic fibers are usually cheaper to work with.