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This Algae-Based Raincoat Actually Consumes Carbon Dioxide

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 8 months ago | News

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Traditionally raincoats are made from plastic and plastic is made from petroleum. Which means that the production of virgin plastics is bad for the planet. As a result, lots of brands have now begun working with recycled plastic, or developing bio-plastic fabrics. The latest innovation in this space is Charlotte McCurdy’s algae plastic.

According to Fast Company, the designer and researcher has developed a plastic alternative as part of her thesis at the Rhode Island School of Design. This alt plastic is made from algae and it actually consumes carbon dioxide.

“The conventional story we tell ourselves about climate change is that it’s a problem of burning fuels for the production of electricity and for fuels for transportation,” McCurdy says in an online keynote about her work. “What that story misses is the third of global emissions that come from the chemistry of stuff.”

It is for this reason that McCurdy has developed an innovative raincoat out of her algae-based plastic. This item is designed to boost awareness and conversation around what she calls present-tense sunlight. “She describes the material as ‘present-tense sunlight,’ in the sense that the petroleum used to make conventional plastic is ‘ancient sunlight,’ or carbon produced through photosynthesis millions of years ago,” Fast Company writes.

McCurdy is reportedly not planning to commercialise her algae raincoat design, but instead wants to shift the conversation from energy to materials. “The raincoat’s purpose is to be a tool for talking—it creates a space . . . so that we can continue to grapple and negotiate, in a more public forum, with what kinds of outcomes and impacts do we want our collective behaviours to have on things like climate change,” she says.

“By showing up and talking about ancient sunlight, and even by talking about materials instead of energy, maybe there are people who will listen just a little bit longer who are politically opposed to making progress on climate change.”

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