Perth-based biodesign company Nanollose has created a jumper made from coconut waste. Spun from a sustainable raw material, known as tree-free rayon fibre, the material called Nullarbor, is produced from liquid coconut waste. Nanollose’s fibre is a sustainable alternative to traditional rayon cotton, which causes significant environmental damage.
Nanollose creates their tree-free rayon fibres by using microbes to ferment the liquid coconut waste, transforming it into malleable cellulose-based substance. Once dried, it is pulled into a cotton-like material, which is spun using traditional industrial equipment. After this, Nanollose 3D prints the silky thread into a sustainable jumper. Nanollose's production method is eco-friendly as it requires little water and energy, doesn’t use a wood pulp process and has a production cycle of 18 days, making it efficient in comparison to the 8 months it takes to create a cotton-based garment.
In Indonesia, approximately 150 million bamboo trees are cut down each year and treated with harmful materials to make rayon fibres for clothing. While the raw product is biodegradable, the chemicals used to transform it into the cotton fibre (including carbon disulfide) are unsafe for textile workers- known to cause strokes and Parkinson’s disease. Alternatively, the tree-free rayon fibre is created without the harmful chemicals.
To ensure that Nanollose can supply partners with quality coconut fibre, the company is currently developing a supply chain connected to the Indonesian coconut industry, which will provide a sustainable means to use the abundant waste material.
To learn more about Nanollose's research, click here.
By Anna Marks