It's great to be on the cutting edge of fashion, right? Would you change your mind if the cutting edge meant you'd be wearing a dress or a shirt made from the same bacteria that helps ferment your favorite beer or wine? Quite possibly you'll be both repulsed and fascinated by this all-organic, fermented fabric.
Researchers at the University of Western Australia have created Micro'be' Fermented Fashion as a result of working on the process of taking Acetobacter — the bacteria that ferments wine into vinegar — and and turning it into a "living" fabric. The by-product of fermenting a large colony of this bacteria, is the formation of micro-fibers or cellulose which are synonymous with plant based cottons.
The little red dress seen here is grown with red wine as part of the fermentation process, and didn't require a single stitch when being made. It reportedly feels like "sludge" when wet and acts like a second skin. When dry, it takes on more of a fabric feel, and apparently smells like red wine.
In addition to using red wine, the process can use white wine or even beer to produce different colors. The research team has also experimented with differing textures — hopefully allowing them to branch out of the skin-tight style.
For now, I'd say since there are few people with the chops to wear a this bacteria dress (not to mention they are hard to come by commercially) we can all rest easy in our denim jeans. But, there's no denying this type of fermented fabric could be better for the planet by eliminating the need for intensive farming practices involved with other fabric types, so let's prepare for the future.
The day may come when we move from grabbing our clothes at the mall straight to "growing" our own garments from the remnants of last night's a