As a multimedia biotechnical designer and head of TheLab at ElektroCouture, Lusi Ajonjoli creates new materials from biowaste and other organic matter. Her projects evolve around the life cycles of sustainable materials and environmental remediation. Sofie Di Bartolomeo is a textile and clothing designer from ElektroCouture – her focal point is the interaction between textiles, materials and the body. For the creation of bespoke wearable pieces, di Bartolomeo uses laser cutting and 3D printing among other advanced production processes.
As the inaugural project of TheLab at ElektroCouture, K-Lapse dress connects biotechnology with fashion by using “vegan leather”, a textile made with fermented black tea. For the production of the piece the designers used the SCOBY agent (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) that is fed and raised with a sugary organic tea.
Through fermentation, the original biotechnological procedure, a thick layer of cellulose is formed, which is later harvested, dyed and tanned in a way that resembles real leather.