The innovation in a nutshell
Using algae to make renewable textiles.
More in detail
Tjeerd Veenhoven has invented a technology through which vegan leather can be made from algae. Tjeerd’s idea emerged while visiting his parents in France where he noted algal build-up along the coast.
“Algae is a big problem in France. It stinks and pollutes beaches. There’s so much of it you can pick it up by the handful.” Algae cell walls contain 70% cellulose while eucalyptus, commonly used to make textiles, contains only 25%. Tjeerd’s technology extracts cellulose from the cell walls and immerses it in a liquid that enables the fibres to stick together in straight lines.
Another advantage of algae is that no land is required to grow it, and it obviously doesn’t need to be watered with fresh water.
Team members: Tjeerd Veenhoven
Country: The Netherlands