Kelp Blue Weaves Together A Seaweed Textiles Narrative
Together with some amazing partners in innovation, we’ve launched a collaborative project to explore the possibilities of developing functional textiles derived from giant kelp seaweed.
Kelp is a fast-growing seaweed that acts as a highly effective carbon sink, and which is already used in the production of numerous products, including agri-feed, fertiliser and cellulose fibre. It’s this last use of giant kelp that has attracted the interest of major players in the global textiles industry. Kelp has the potential to be used in the creation of carbon-neutral, sustainable and easily recyclable textile products.
Previous research on the potential for creating fabric from giant kelp has focused on extracting cellulose fibres for wound dressings, bio-medical textiles and implants, plus nanocellulose for paper-strengthening and enhancing the water-resistance of cardboard. This research has highlighted the natural anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties of giant kelp fibres, while the positive environmental footprint of kelp products has been demonstrated across multiple industries.
The goal of the new project is to create a textile using 100% sustainable input material sources that have zero onshore land use, fertilisers, pesticides and freshwater irrigation requirements; Giant kelp ticks all these boxes. We hope to be one of the driving forces behind this new project which aims to conceptualise, develop and bring to market a kelp-based textile with additional material benefits such as UV protection and fire-retardant properties. “We are still in the early stages of discovering the many potential uses of giant kelp,” commented Daniel Hooft, Founder of Kelp Blue. “However, it is clear that it has immense potential application in the textiles sphere, where its unique properties are particularly well-suited to the production of carbon-neutral workwear that can protect people, as well as the planet,” he added.
Joining us are partners with proven track records in the textile industry, each of which has demonstrated their commitment to furthering the push towards using sustainable materials and processes. These partners include HAVEP, a global leader in workwear based in the heartlands of the Dutch textile industry, TenCate Protective Fabrics, Saxion Hogeschool Enschede, a university with an outstanding reputation for pioneering textile research and development, and Job Blom, a sustainable innovation expert.