Galy’s Lab-Grown Cotton Joins Fashion For Good’s New Sustainability Initiative

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In a recent announcement, Galy that grows cotton from cells instead of plants has joined the global sustainability initiative Fashion For Good for its new virtual exhibition titled ‘GROW’ that will showcase the future of fashion and its new alternative materials.

Boston-based Galy has joined Amsterdam-based The Fashion for Good Museum in its latest virtual and in person display exhibition that aims to highlight biomaterials and innovative brands that are using nature to build a sustainable future for fashion.

The museum was opened by The Fashion for Good Foundation to act as an interactive sustainable fashion museum in Amsterdam in an effort to promote brands and materials that are working towards a circular and slow fashion model.

Lab-Grown Cotton

Galy grows its cotton in labs by multiplying cells directly into the cotton fibre and uses 80% less water and land, unlike traditional cotton farming that uses pesticides, fertilisers and tremendous amounts of water. The process is 10 times quicker than growing cotton on huge farms and given that it is lab-based, according to the company the cotton “can be grown anywhere, without being dependent on soil and weather conditions, and without exhausting our planet”.

Founder and CSO of Galy, Paula Elbl said that the team is extremely proud to be showcased within the GROW Expo. “The future of agriculture is cellular, and this is a great opportunity to share truly inspiring science with the public, allowing visitors to be taken on an incredible journey when they sign up for the tour from anywhere in the world,” Elbl said in a statement. “Many of our planet’s largest challenges can be solved by looking for solutions found in nature, and the intersection where technology and nature meet is our sweet spot. We’re a biotechnology company and our goal is to restore all industries that have a toxic supply chain, starting with cotton. The fashion industry directs others, inaugurating new practices, processes and values. Cotton is just the beginning for us.”

Read: From Vegan To Cegan: Could Cellular Agriculture Create A Whole New Kind Of Food Identity?

‘Biomaterials of the Future’

Museum manager at Fashion for Good, Gwen Boon said: “We’re delighted to have Galy as part of our GROW exhibition. Their trailblazing innovation showcases how the power of science can be harnessed to create the biomaterials of the future that have a positive impact on both the fashion and agricultural industries.”

Many of our planet’s largest challenges can be solved by looking for solutions found in nature, and the intersection where technology and nature meet is our sweet spot

Paula Elbl, founder and CSO of Galy

In an interview with Forbes, Luciano Bueno, CEO and co-founder said they have different cotton plants in their greenhouse. “We cut a piece of the plant and that plant has a bunch of stem cells. The stem cells have the ability to pretty much transform into any part of the plant. The cells are segregated into large vessels (similar to brewing beer) full of nutrients to make the cells multiply, then into another vessel where they differentiate into fibers. Instead of growing the whole plant, we go from the cell directly to the fiber.”

We’re a biotechnology company and our goal is to restore all industries that have a toxic supply chain, starting with cotton. The fashion industry directs others, inaugurating new practices, processes and values. Cotton is just the beginning for us

Paula Elbl, founder and CSO of Galy

In addition, the startup won the annual Global Change Award from the fashion giant H&M’s Foundation taking home a prize of EUR€300,000 (approx US$330,000).

Eco Brands on Display

Apart from Galy, other companies and innovators that will be showcasing their materials and products include materials science company Pangaia that develops fibres from seaweed, created an antibacterial textile finishing treatment derived out of peppermint oil, developed zero-waste sneakers, and has partnered with AIR-INK to launch a capsule featuring inks made out of air pollution.

Another material solutions firm Bolt Threads that is responsible for plant-based leather alternative Mylo and dyeing company Colorifix that employs a biological process to create and fix pigments on textiles will be there at the exhibition as well.

Other innovators at the exhibition include Ecovative, which focusses on creating materials out of a mushroom root structure for the fashion, food, packaging and skincare industry; Infinited Fiber Company that transforms thrown away textiles into bio-based regenerated fibres; Phool, which is behind charcoal-free incense and biodegradable packaging derived from floral waste obtained from holy places in India; and BioGlitz, that manufactures what it claims as the world’s first biodegradable glitter.

The exhibition will run until October 2021, book your spot here.


Lead image courtesy of Fashion For Good.


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