Our curiosity for new materials is never ending. It has lead our brand´s creative director to explore the Material Futures at CSM and beyond. Since early 2019 Riina has been the material research resident at the Green Lab in London. With the great excitement it´s time to reveal what we have been working on this year!
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that grows layers of bacterial cellulose on its surface to create a barrier with oxygen. This symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast is shortly called SCOBY.
Riina has been working with the SCOBY developing it into a leather-like material. The SCOBYs have been provided by our sponsor Momo Kombucha as the waste of the drink production industry and reworked into a new material with a great potential.
The most successful results have been achieved creating the SCOBY composite material enhancing the material properties with different additives.
The main motivator for the material research has been the current shortage of leather alternatives for vegans - as well-known "vegan leathers" are PVC-based and not environmentally friendly.
Video link: https://vimeo.com/356870902
It was symbolic to bring the material research back to kombucha by designing the SCOBY coasters to creating a fully circular economy.
Cloured with charcoal and waterproofed with natural shellac lacquer the coasters are fully biodegradable and now available for the pre-order at our online boutique!
Riina O also created the first completely vegan Aura glove, made of kombucha SCOBY composite material. 100% vegan, sustainable and environment-friendly! Laser etched and hand stitched.
Currently at the stage of concept piece artefact but work in progress making it ready to wear.
The glove and coasters will be displayed at Disainiöö festival in Tallinn 16-22th September.
Riina will be talking about her material research at the Future Materials conference and teaching a kombucha making workshop. Sign up here!