New Matters

A Biodegradable Capsule Collection

The project

A Biodegradable Capsule Collection

THE CHALLENGE
The material choice alone can account for up to 95% of a product’s environmental and social footprint.” (The Sustainable Angle, 2020). Currently there is still a big gap regarding the availability of healthy materials and fashion products that are circular and inspired by the Cradle to Cradle design agenda. Algae as positive impact materials have been explored in material labs or textiles, but are not yet used to their full potential in a circular collection.


THE SOLUTION

The project tackles this challenge by using algae as raw materials to develop a range of healthy new algae leathers. New Matters helps transform an efficiency discussion in sustainability to eco-effectiveness and material health. The slowness of lab-made and crafted materials offer an antipole or alternative to fast fashion and inspire for a mindset shift.

VON TAUBEN & SPATZEN (Germany)

Based in Berlin, Von Tauben & Spatzen is a creative design and research studio exploring, analysing, and designing with and through healthy materials. We curate and consult on circular and sustainable fashion, textiles and materials for a positive impact following the Cradle to Cradle design agenda. The founder, Sarah Maria Schmidt holds the degrees Sustainability in Fashion (MA), a BA in Design/Fashion Design and a Bachelor of Culture & Arts and diverse industry experience.

Project website: vontaubenundspatzen.com

MATERIAL DESIGN LAB (Denmark)

As an interdisciplinary space for material understanding and experimentation with facilities for hands-on material studies, Material Design Lab facilitates technical and artistic material experience and exploration through education, research, development and showcasing of materials.

Project website: materialdesignlab.kea.dk

photography: Caroline Wimmer
hair & make-up: Nadja Jeberien
model: Cris Zeyu 

STORYTELLING

THE IDEA:

As designers from the fields of architecture, product design and fashion design we are intrigued by unconventional materials and driven by their explorational and analytical development. Specifically the fascination for algae has brought Sarah Maria Schmidt from VT&S and Anke Pasold from MDL together, ideating and creating a vision for the use of the inherent positive benefits of algae captured in a more sustainable, circular material for design, with a strong local connection and straight from the ocean. Together we imagined a new algae material that could represent a substitute for some of fashion’s concerning materials, while incorporating the raw beauty of algae in a soft, translucent and almost weightless leather alternative as a reminder of the transformative power of algae floating in the oceans.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:

Currently there is still a big gap regarding the availability of healthy materials that are circular and inspired by Cradle to Cradle design philosophy. Algae as positive impact materials have been explored in material labs or textiles, but especially the link to local sustainability still bears untapped potential. The project tackles this challenge by using algae as a raw material to develop a healthy material capsule collection and circular showcase garments as material studies. The algae materials create a sensory experience while connecting the garments to local sustainability. By using only healthy processing chemicals we created materials that can safely return to the biosphere.

THE CREATIVE PROCESS:

The creative process was really kicked-off and accelerated by the collective hands- on material explorations at MDL in Copenhagen, starting with a playful material tinkering process and leading towards a very focussed and deep research into the local algae species and their positive potential. We were able to discuss our design ideas with other professionals, such as biologists and algae farmers, which kept the creative process fresh and stimulating through the multidisciplinary input and experiencing the local environment through algae harvesting trips.

Due to the worldwide Corona Pandemic however we were faced with difficulties such as closures of facilities. Through our strong partnership we were able to overcome the obstacles and made us think in completely new directions. We explored and embraced low threshold technologies in our process, found creative solutions and focused our project scope to the key product, the material in itself, as well as develop accompanying products of our research, namely a publication and installation. Through the mentorship programme we were able to use the time given fruitfully for our conceptual work and development of a diverse marketing strategy.

THE COLLABORATION:

At both VT&S and MDL we strongly believe in the positive power of collaboration and co- creation. Through the partnership we were able to benefit from each other’s facilities and network as well as sharing and discussing ideas critically. Together we were able to develop a much stronger and more diverse project outcome that incorporates our respective expertise. The partnership and mentorship fostered an environment for individual and collective growth, stimulating debates and opening up new perspectives. Especially the global challenges that came along with the pandemic has shown us the strength that lies within forming partnerships and human connections through a common goal. 

THE FUTURE:

We aim to explore the potential of our algae material further, also for other design applications, and strive to find inspiring collaborations with other designers, researchers and brands that would like to explore the benefits of our materials. In order to do this we aim to acquire further funding for material testing, further development and scale-up of the material processing. We envision a whole range of the material also in different colours. We envision our material to become a viable alternative for leather in the future. We are going to publish a documentation of our research and have been working on a workshop format in order to disseminate our findings and inspire other designers. As soon as we can all come together physically again, an installation will mark and celebrate the outcomes of our research.

THE MESSAGE:

We believe that the future of sustainable design innovation lies within multidisciplinary collaboration, as they offer chances for unexpected results. Working within diverse teams of experts towards a common goal allows us to solve complex challenges and benefit from each other’s depth of thought, ideas and knowledge. In a positive and healthy environment new ideas can flourish and transformative energy can be unleashed. 

PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS

The vase

The vase

Lumimóza

Lumimóza

3D metal panels

3D metal panels

Thinking Woman’s Chair

Thinking Woman’s Chair

Aeras-x Seat for Drone Taxis

Aeras-x Seat for Drone Taxis

The Vegan Sheep

The Vegan Sheep

Loom-State

Loom-State

Common Sands 2.0

Common Sands 2.0

Maretech

Maretech

Minois

Minois

STEM a garment production brand

STEM a garment production brand

Storytelling Garment Project

Storytelling Garment Project

Mapu Preto

Mapu Preto

Minta

Minta

NO/thing

NO/thing

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

In the Circle

In the Circle

Clotho

Clotho

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

WeAr Design

WeAr Design

Freskos

Freskos

ALMA

ALMA

Bubble Façade

Bubble Façade

Crossing Parallels

Crossing Parallels

EnaOna

EnaOna

SEISMIC GARMENT

SEISMIC GARMENT

Rethinking the Bra

Rethinking the Bra

Kinematic handbag by RMATURA

Kinematic handbag by RMATURA

Nova Underwear

Nova Underwear

BioChromatic

BioChromatic

Dimmenso

Dimmenso

Beaggie

Beaggie

Ignorance is Bliss Carpet Collection

Ignorance is Bliss Carpet Collection

WE ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE

WE ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE

H|H

H|H

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Edge Chair

Edge Chair

Marbled Salts

Marbled Salts

Moseanic

Moseanic

Kombucha TSUGI

Kombucha TSUGI

LiLO

LiLO

The Eastern Side of Riviera

The Eastern Side of Riviera

Future Wardrobe

Future Wardrobe

Ventri

Ventri

FreyZein

FreyZein

SILENCIO

SILENCIO

Re-Print Ceramics

Re-Print Ceramics

Vivid

Vivid

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

Burning For

Burning For

Circular workwear collection

Circular workwear collection

Recontile

Recontile

Fashion Colada

Fashion Colada

SCALA

SCALA

New Matters

New Matters

Not 2 Forget

Not 2 Forget

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Agogic – Be prepared for more

SMARTCOAT with ETHICS

SMARTCOAT with ETHICS

Mocha Split

Mocha Split

Reframd

Reframd

Zerobarracento

Zerobarracento

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

Wearable Play

Wearable Play

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Gelatex x NO/AN

Gelatex x NO/AN

Luxury Bag Collection

Luxury Bag Collection

Amalgama

Amalgama

TTorch

TTorch

From the ground

From the ground

Biolea

Biolea

Ultra

Ultra

Capsule coat project

Capsule coat project

Mayya x WORTH

Mayya x WORTH

The Space in Between

The Space in Between

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Fish_Fish

Fish_Fish

Common Sands

Common Sands

UCQC Inclusive

UCQC Inclusive

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Mowo

Mowo

i-Morfé

i-Morfé

Iguaneye

Iguaneye

Ruumy

Ruumy

Fugazi Fugazi

Fugazi Fugazi

Serisole

Serisole

Hi-LAMP

Hi-LAMP

Lucid

Lucid

Senss

Senss

Walkytalkies

Walkytalkies

Sole sustainability

Sole sustainability

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

Spell My Name

Spell My Name

The “Bib” chair

The “Bib” chair

Materia Bruta

Materia Bruta

Planned Space Pooling

Planned Space Pooling

3D knitwear on demand

3D knitwear on demand

Lit Lace Interface

Lit Lace Interface

iluTex

iluTex

Sukka 

Sukka 

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

Unmoist Raincoat

Unmoist Raincoat

IOT Jacket & Robot

IOT Jacket & Robot

Stars Collection

Stars Collection

Words that shimmer

Words that shimmer

Persona

Persona

PULSAR

PULSAR

Identity 560

Identity 560

Øjenfryd

Øjenfryd

The Ghost Bag

The Ghost Bag

Diluci bags

Diluci bags

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Oceanwear

Oceanwear

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

Curve

Curve

Multifunctional Textiles

Multifunctional Textiles

Fashion Designing in an Inclusive World

Fashion Designing in an Inclusive World

‘Parameter’ Table

‘Parameter’ Table

Occay

Occay

KICS

KICS

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

PreemieCme

PreemieCme

Circular Bags

Circular Bags

Clayer

Clayer

Lulu V2

Lulu V2

Fishskinlab

Fishskinlab

Dynaback

Dynaback

Esther Hates PVC

Esther Hates PVC

Gardin

Gardin

Foldable High Heels

Foldable High Heels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Edbora Collection

Edbora Collection

Smart Heated Vest

Smart Heated Vest

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Fragments Garments

Fragments Garments

Hollow: A Lie Story

Hollow: A Lie Story

FWN: Family Wear Nature

FWN: Family Wear Nature

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Spellbound

Spellbound

Wear Pure

Wear Pure

Connextyle

Connextyle

Unlimited in 1

Unlimited in 1

Paramatrix

Paramatrix

Feel More Knitwear

Feel More Knitwear

Skarabeos 2

Skarabeos 2

Twill

Twill

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair