MADER is a bioskin that can potentially replace leather from animals and textiles derived from petroleum. It is made from renewable and biodegradable materials. Two key ingredients make its formula: pine sawdust from industrial wood processes and sodium alginate, which is derived from the collection of sargassum seaweed, a problem for the environment on the coasts of Latin America.
Sargassum and other brown seaweed can be processed into sodium alginate, a natural polymer, using a simple procedure that involves washing, drying, and grinding the seaweed before dissolving it in an alkaline solution. The economic value of sargassum as a raw material has been shown to increase through this low-cost, environmentally friendly process. According to studies, sargassum seaweed can be used to produce biomaterials while also reducing its growth on coasts. Sargassum spreads rapidly and prefers nutrient-rich waters, so human activities like wastewater discharges, building along the coast, and deforestation can stimulate its growth. Sargassum's biomass can be removed from the beaches by harvesting and processing it for biomaterials, interrupting further growth and reducing the harmful impact it has on marine life.
Furthermore, the addition of pine sawdust to MADER turns this waste into an important resource. Lignocellulose, a biopolymer that is frequently used in the creation of biodegradable materials, is abundant in sawdust. Lignocellulose in particular is frequently used to make composites, which are substances that combine two or more different components to produce a new material with improved properties. Pine sawdust is added to MADER to give the bioplastic enhanced mechanical characteristics, such as increased tensile strength and toughness. Pine sawdust is used in MADER for a number of different reasons; however, its biodegradability is one of them. Sawdust can decompose in the environment over time because it is a natural material, as opposed to conventional petroleum-based materials, which can take hundreds of years to break down. As a result, MADER is a more environmentally friendly material than regular ones because it reduces the damage that waste accumulation causes to the environment.
The low-energy and eco-friendly manufacturing process used by MADER lessens the environmental impact brought on by waste accumulation. Its circular process is in line with the concept of the circular economy, which inspires the transition from a linear "take-make-dispose" model to one that is more sustainable and regenerative. Three guiding principles form the foundation of the circular economy: eliminating waste and pollution through design, extending the life of products and materials, and regenerating natural systems. These principles are in line with MADER's circular process because it turns waste into useful resources and prevents waste from building up.
As a result, it can be said that MADER has the potential to transform the fashion industry by introducing a sustainable, vegan, and biodegradable alternative to leather and textiles that are oil-based.
The preparation method of MADER formula involves the combination of several sustainable and biodegradable ingredients.
Sodium alginate is a natural polymer that can be extracted from brown seaweed, including sargassum, through a simple process that involves washing, drying, and grinding the seaweed, followed by solubilisation in an alkaline solution. After the solubilisation step, the solution is neutralised with an acid to form a gel-like substance.
The first step in the preparation process is the mixing of the sodium alginate with water. The resulting solution is then added to a blender, where glycerin and soybean oil are added and blended until the mixture is homogeneous.
In the next step, the pine sawdust is incorporated into the mixture. The addition of pine sawdust to the mixture enhances the mechanical properties of the resulting bioplastic, such as increased tensile strength and toughness. The mixture is blended until the pine sawdust is fully dispersed and a homogeneous mixture is obtained. The final step involves casting the mixture into a mould and allowing it to cure for several hours at room temperature.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Sodium alginate, pine tree sawdust, glycerine, and soybean oil.
video sound & audio design | The Listen Fact, model | Shiori, couture development | Miguel Elola Zaragueta