Sprouty is an innovative project aimed at promoting a healthier bond between humans and the world around them. By creating a textile made from organic materials, Sprouty establishes a symbiotic relationship between individuals and plants, rekindling the connection with nature.
Microgreens, small vegetables with the potential to mature into full-grown plants, play a pivotal role in Sprouty's symbiotic relationship. Cultivated in controlled environments and harvested at an early stage, microgreens offer not only diverse flavours and high nutritional value but also adaptability to hydroponic systems. By incorporating microgreens into the fabric, Sprouty enhances its functionalities and introduces new possibilities for nutrition and decarbonisation.
In a world grappling with the consequences of excessive consumption, Sprouty presents an alternative path. By integrating microgreens into the fabric, it offers a sustainable solution to mitigate the environmental impact. Sprouty envisions a paradigm shift where humans coexist with nature through a symbiotic relationship. As individuals craft and engage with the fabric, they nurture and improve their well-being while the fabric benefits from their care. This mutual exchange enhances nutrition, decarbonisation efforts, and ultimately bridges the gap between humans and the natural world.
Sprouty's properties encompass various dimensions, including nutrition, decarbonisation, and gastronomy. Microgreens are nutritionally rich, offering a wide array of nutrients, with potassium being a standout component. Their inclusion in the diet has been linked to a reduced risk of cancer. These immature vegetables are versatile in culinary applications, renowned for their colour, texture, and flavour, enriching the gastronomic experience. The gentle handling and minimal processing required before reaching consumers ensure their freshness and optimal nutritional content.
Furthermore, microgreens are considered superfoods due to their high nutritional value, containing vitamins, carotenoids, and bioactive compounds that contribute to disease prevention. By consuming microgreens in their raw state, individuals can benefit from their natural composition and avoid nutrient loss that typically occurs during the cooking of mature vegetables. Microgreens, rich in vitamins C, E, and K, can significantly contribute to fulfilling daily recommended intake (European Food Safety Authority).
Sprouty also addresses the issue of decarbonisation by incorporating plants' natural air-purifying capabilities. As buildings and their contents accumulate volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the quality of indoor air deteriorates, contributing to the sick building syndrome (SEE) and various health issues. By harnessing plants' natural filtering abilities, Sprouty offers an alternative solution to improve indoor air quality.
The composition of Sprouty's fabric consists of three layers. The first layer is the agar biocomposite layer, primarily made from agar, water, and vegetable glycerin. Agar serves as the base substrate, offering nutritional components and gel-forming properties. The resulting bioplastic is a flexible sheet that adapts seamlessly to various surfaces. Water is an essential component, facilitating vital functions and germination. Vegetable glycerine, sourced from plant oils, contributes flexibility to the agar biocomposite, prioritising environmental sustainability.
The second layer acts as the bonding layer, incorporating seeds and roots. Soaked seeds are spread over the pre-made bioplastic sheet and remain dormant until germination. The presence of seeds throughout the fabric manufacturing process ensures their reserve substances serve as a source of nutrition for growth. The roots, developed after seed absorption, provide support, anchorage, water absorption, and nutrient uptake. In the case of Sprouty, the roots play a crucial role in unifying the bioplastic and microgreens, transforming them into a single cohesive element.
The final layer represents the plant body, consisting of fully grown microgreens. After germination, the second layer forms, featuring the initial sprouts of microgreens. These microgreens reach their maximum growth, typically measuring around three centimetres, completing the formation of Sprouty.
In summary, Sprouty is a project that combines textile innovation, nutrition, decarbonisation, and gastronomy. By creating a symbiotic relationship between humans and plants, Sprouty fosters a deeper connection with nature and presents sustainable solutions for harmonious coexistence. With its multifaceted properties and unique composition, Sprouty offers a transformative journey towards a sustainable future, both on Earth and beyond.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Microgreens, agar, water and vegetal glycerine.
Tutor: Laura Freixas-Conde, Sponsors: Soplas and Masia Cal Geperut domo suites