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Alternative Sustainable Textile Production Methods: Enzymes, Collagen, Fungi and More!


Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Five environment friendly methods
3. Enzymes
4. Leather making alternatives
    4.1 Collagen
    4.2 Fungi
5. Grass Roots
6. Cow Manure
7. Conclusion



This is a platform where we generally talk about sustainability and L’Aquila Active not only is a sustainable clothing platform but also tries its best to research and share knowledge regarding sustainability and sustainable fashion and make world aware of what our planet and we need desperately.


Given the recent trend in sustainability, as well as it's urgency....Why not implement this?


For some industries specially clothing industries, sustainability is a challenge. Production and manufacturing of textiles from raw materials and fiber to final product is a long and complex chain.

Textile industry is the one which requires huge amount of water, chemicals and energy for its production. If seen through the eyes of businesspeople who own the businesses of textile industries, they might ask: how to we minimize the use of complex and expensive resources?

The answer to this is NATURE!

Nature has always been an answer to all the inventions human kind has ever made but maybe we - human have always been greedy and started running after fast results. We want everything faster and more convenient than previously made inventions.


Here I will talk about five ways through which we can again use the mother nature, get more sustainable alternatives and could save our planet and make it better place for more years. Environmentalists and scientists are doing researches and digging deep into these alternatives.

These methods could be a win – win for both industries and ecosystem.

  1. Enzymes –

Enzymes are the biocatalysts found inside all living organisms. Enzymes first were introduced in the textile industry in early 20th century. They offer textile manufacturing ways which could reduce the excess usage of chemicals, water and other energy resources.

Enzymes like Cellulases and laccases are becoming very popular in the process of creating stonewashed effects upon denim fabrics. Not only are these more sustainable but also they prove great alternative to pumice stones which were used for stonewashed effects. Pumice stones impacts the quality of both fabric and machines.

Apart from being bio-degradable, the textile enzymes are cost saving since they reduce the use of expensive and harmful chemicals used in textile manufacturing.


  1. Leather making Alternative –


  1. i) Collagen



Collagen is the main leather making protein component and is growing widely. Collagen is an amino acids protein. Animals, specially mammals, have 25-35% of whole-body protein.

Collagen is the protein present inside body responsible for elasticity of the skin. It is also helpful in providing strength to various parts of body, and helps safeguard skin by avoiding absorption and diffusion of pathogenic substances, environmental toxins, micro-organisms and cancerous cells. Collagen structure acts like cement holding everything together. In leather making process collagen is used for tanning of leather. This material holds great capabilities of replacing the environmentally impacting toxic leather production techniques.


  1. ii) Fungi



Fungi is becoming another popular component for production of new leather materials. The root part of the mushroom, Mycelium, is grown from farming byproducts and fungi is processed in labs using non carbon process. The benefits of fungi include fast production, easily cultivable, easy to manipulate into leather, wood and other polystyrene products adds it to me more acceptable environment friendly alternative.


3) Grass Roots


A great work with grass roots is shown by artist Diana Scherer. Through her work she gave to the world future garments. She developed a process with the help of oats and wheat plant roots by growing them into lace like textile material. She uses various design tools and put them under soil topped with oats and wheat plant roots which grows into laces. After giving the whole blend a particular time and drying it turns out to be a beautiful lace like fabric.


4) Cow Manure


Looking into all the above-mentioned methods one thing is clear now:  on this planet, nothing is waste.


Many companies are being innovative and picking up the trend of sustainability by coming up with new innovative ideas, Cow dung is one of these. Cow manure could be used in the production of new textiles. The processing techniques excerpts cellulose from manure in order to produce viscose and cellulose acetate which are used in textile manufacturing.




Nature has always been very kind to us even despite our endless pollution, deforestation, and continuing negative impact on our environment.  This planet is our home and we should feel very blessed to be born as humans. We can make our home a better place to live by simply adopting small environment friendly changes, and already using existing sustainable and eco-friendly textile production methods derived from nature.

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