The innovation in a nutshell
Using biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton.
More in detail
You may rarely think about it, but a lot of resources have gone into the making of your favourite cotton t-shirt. And we mean a lot. Conventional cotton production requires massive amounts of water, land and a hefty cocktail containing thousands of chemicals. It also results in considerable greenhouse gas emissions. It makes you wish there was a smarter way to make cotton.
And luckily, there is! By producing cotton from cells – not plants – in a lab instead of on huge farms, this innovation makes it possible to grow the same cotton everybody loves, but in a different way. The lab-grown cotton can be grown anywhere, without being dependent on soil and weather conditions, and without exhausting our planet. The method is ten times faster, and uses less than 80% water and land while emitting only a fraction of the greenhouse gas compared to traditional cotton. The price would be the same as for the high-quality cotton on the market today.
Does this story sound fluffy to you? Yes, it’s the kind of cotton soft fluff not only dreams are made of, but also a greater, more sustainable future for everyone.
Team members: Luciano Bueno, Paula Elbl and Letícia Luz
Country: Brazil, based in the US