The maker of Algiknit talks seaweed fashion and the next stage of biotech

Aleksandra Gosiewski's work touches on sustainable ways to fix the disconnect within the fashion industry.

“Fashion is the way you choose to present yourself to the world,” says Aleksandra Gosiewski, whose talk on the Design Indaba stage brought an interesting take on the current fashion system. Currently, the fashion industry contributes to a large portion of the world's pollution. 

As a founding member of Algiknit, a biomaterials research group, Aleksandra and her team have devoted themselves to finding alternative materials to combat the fashion industry's toxins and wastefulness.

Through research and experiments with different materials, the team at Alginit were able to create a whole new textile. Founded in the deep oceans, their chosen material ‘Kelp’ is not only available globally but also sourced responsibly.

Using this new biomaterial, they were able to produce a shoe range called Algikicks. Aleksandra calls it a revolutionary sneaker because of its environmentally friendly features. The sneaker is comfortable, durable and sustainable. 

The natural properties found in kelp means that the shoe is biodegradable, making it a non-harmful way to get rid of old kicks. “The nutrients can be reclaimed to feed the next generation of product,” explains the designer.

In 2017, Alginit received the ‘sustainable planet’ prize from the National Geographic ‘Chasing Genius’ award, where they won 25 thousand dollars to further their research.

More on conscious fashion:

Mosskin is a living textile for burn victims

Designer Anne Kiwia upcycles discarded cloths to create high fashion headbands

Biology is the new technology with Silvio Tinello’s grown objects