“Future” fashion includes T-shirts that biodegrade in 3 months


In London, future-focused clothing company Vollebak has developed a T-shirt made from algae and tree fibers that biodegrades in the environment after just 3 months.

Specifically, the shirts are made from pulped eucalyptus and beech, and algae-based ink is used to print fashionable patterns. When buried, the shirts disappear completely within 12 weeks.

“We felt it was very important to demonstrate the possibility of sustainable closed looped systems in clothing in a way people could easily understand,” Steve Tidball, Vollebak cofounder and CEO, tells Forbes.  “While we’ve made clothing with some of the most cutting-edge materials on Earth [..] what we wanted to do here is demonstrate that natural materials can be just as cutting-edge,” added Tidball. “And, not adding to [the] 8.2 million tonnes [of clothing and footwear that end up in landfills] felt like the very definition of cutting edge to us. So we created a t-shirt that would leave no record of its existence is a stark contrast to an industry that creates enormous waste.”

Founded by Tidball and his brother Nick in 2015, Vollebak’s other sustainable offerings include a graphene jacket, solar charged jacket, and “100-year pants” that are water-, nature-, and fire-proof for a century.

“We hope that this is likely to make people think more consciously about the life cycle of everything else in their wardrobe,” said Tidball.