Clothing Can Be Made Out Of Food

Food is used to feed the masses. But did you know that it can also clothe them? We’re not talking Lady Gaga’s meat dress, we mean real fabrics that are made out of food products. Here are a few of the ones you’d be surprised about:

As a student of the baking and pastry arts, you are familiar with the importance of coffee to the industry – and the industry’s reverence for it. A company in Boston called the Ministry of Supply is recycling coffee grounds and using them as odor-absorbing technology in performance clothing. We bet you’ve never heard of using coffee in clothing design!

The company co-founders Gihan Amarasiriwardena, Aman Advani and Kit Hickey met at MIT in 2010. The three were passionate about hacking technical outdoor clothing and making it more efficient and appropriate for the office.

JAVAfresh uses recycled coffee grounds to absorb odor molecules and “act like a filter” to help you stay fresher, longer. JAVAfresh technology can be found in the company’s ATLAS dress socks and AEON sweaters.

If you’ve ever had to cut up a whole pineapple while working on your culinary certificate, you may have noticed how tough and hardy the leaves are. Cloth makers use the leaves to make Pina cloth, a silk-like fabric that is used in formal gowns because it is sheer and lightweight, according to the Republic of the Phillippines Department of Agriculture. The textile is especially good for weaving and has been retrieved by hand-scraping in the Philippines since the late 1580s.

When you look at the outside of a coconut it’s easy to see the fibers that protect the fruit inside of the hard outer shell. These fibers, called the coir, can be white or brown. The fibers are retted, or soaked in water, so that they are no longer attached to the nut of the fruit, and then spun into yarn, according to Shirts My Way. Some coir is used in other household goods like hairbrushes or rugs, and even ropes. It is a durable, strong material but is not yet widely used in the clothing industry.

Banana tree stalks and leaves are used to make many cloth things, from tablecloths to silk-like fabric that is used in kimonos. The fabric, called “jusi,” is made in Southeast Asia and was very commonly used before cotton became affordable and easy to come by, according to Ecosalon. Some parts of the banana plant are used to make baskets that look like they were made of hemp or bamboo, but other, more high-grade fibers are used to make saris and other silky garments. Nepalese people use the banana plant to make hand-knotted rugs.

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