Biosourcing & innovation

Updated: Sep 1, 2020

Access to the full report about biosourcing

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During last Paris fabric's shows (Première Vision and Texworld), the main dedication was definetly given to sustainable sourcing and all the ethical issues coming out of sourcing nowadays. In circumstances where "clean" fabrics can be natural, local, upcycled, recycled and where the product life cycle is decisive, one of the logical evolution might be biosourcing...

So could Biosourcing be the sourcing revolution of sustainability ?

Bolt thread Microsilk ™ in Stella mc cartney X Adidas designs outfit for Gabine Muguruza.



Bio sourcing is the symbiosis of innovation and biology, which uses biotechnologies

to join forces with fashion and textile industry for the purpose of sustainability. Thus in a proper lab, natural and biodegradable sources are changed into a proper raw material thanks to bio fabrication techniques. Bio fabrication is a methodology using alive microorganisms (such as yeast, alguae, bacteria or protein) to formulate cells, which breeding, create a susbstance that can be turned into textile ( fiber, yarn, fabrics and biopolymer wich are 100% Bio based polymer ). Below an example of Bio Polymer technique explaned by Textile Exchange

The process is not absolutly new, as it was already exploited in medical researches with 3D printing and in fashion, the pioneer is Suzanne Lee™, the british designer behind biocouture first receipes. Indeed, 15 years ago , she used bio fabrication process when she worked on a first "growing garment" concept. Biocouture is the technique of harvesting bacteria and yeats cells to turn them into a cellulose workable as a fabric.

Copyright : Suzanne Lee
Suzanne Lee's prototypes made with BioCouture techniques.


The sustainable alternative aspect and the biodegradability are among the major qualities of biosourcing. It also, in the case of harvesting agricultural waste, allows to recover waste raw materials, which provides an additional source of income for farmers. The laboratory process of bio-fabrication avoids hazardous pesticides and offers a better control of manufacturing stages (ex: Atelier Sumbiosis Spiruwheel dye) and the infinite renewal of cells makes it an inexhaustible source. Finally, biotechnologies have performance and bring well- being benefits (antiallergenic, antibacterial or antifungal) therefore it adapts to sports and lingerie demands. For instance, Adidas X Stella Mc Cartney™ (Boltthread), Picture Organic clothing or the Australian lingerie brand BELLAECO™ (Fulgar) are already using biosourcing.



ATELIER SUMBIOSIS, is a research laboratory at the crossroads of textile expertise, science and design created by Tony Jouanneau who works on textile finishing, through dyeing or devouring for example. In 2019, Sumbiosis workshop is selected by Hermès Corporate Foundation for their "Académie des savoir faire" program. "We, as académiciens, are invited to bring a common and creative reflection on textile materiality under Matali Crasset art direction. Atelier symbiosis also received the public prize of the Fashion Tech Expo7 for supporting the virtuous concerns of biofabrication in the textile sector.

Copyright from left to right: Pic 1 ScobyPrint3-©photo-Tony-Jouanneau. Pic 2 Tony Jouanneau Pic 3 Spiruwheel2--©photo-Véronique-Huyghe. Pic 4 Spiruwheel1-©photo-Véronique-Huyghe. Atelier Symbiosis™.

OPEN BIO FABRIC, is an organization founded by Sabrina Morocco, which promotes and supports bio-manufacturing. Inspired by the work of Suzanne Lee, OBF invented bacterial cellulose production systems that, combined with the assets of bio-technologies, helps companies to develop the materials of the future. In addition, these work is an opened source and is shared on their social networks. Last September, Advantex, Texworld fair space dedicated to new technologies, and Open Bio Fabric exhibited some of those main players, among them Atelier Sumbiosis, Bolt Thread or Caroline Raff ..




Bolt Thead™, a US company founded in 2009 is specialized in materials innovation and has found the scientific way to make biobased silk and leather options. Mylo™ is an alternative to mushroom-based leather and Microsilk™ a "silk" thread made from proteins found in spiderweb. Their headline: "Inspired by nature. Designed for our future" convinced Adidas and Stella McCartney which used this material in their latest collaboration. It still has the advantages of silk (flexibility, thermoregulation and softness), is made without cruel process for animals and with less impact on the environment, because Microsilk ™ and Mylo™ are biodegradable.


According to Circular System "These six crops alone offer more than 250M tons of fiber per year! = 2.5x the current global fiber demand"

The innovative system of AGRALOOP, registered trademark of the American group Circular system SPC, gives a second life to agricultural waste (bark of sugar cane, pineapple leaves, hemp seed ...) by regenerating them in an eco-responsible quality material fiber close to cotton. In addition, those wastes are usually burned and their rehabilitation avoids unnecessary CO2 production during combustion. Their fabrics are resistant weaving, rather designed for workwear or outwear. In 2018, Agraloop received the "Global Change Award" from the H & M Foundation for Innovation. For the first time, Circular system presented these innovations within Première Vision's Smart Création space.


AlgiKnit produces biomaterials integrating both science & design into textile for a better lifecycle. As a durable yarn engineer from KELP, a brown algae mostly found in he cold water of Pacific, this macroalgae is transformed in a biofabrication processes and hence is biodagradable. Mostly made for the textile industry algaknit can be used for clothes, footwear, accessories, interiors...