Fashion-tech Special
Why Streamateria’s 3D printed garments are disposed in the food compost after use
The clothing is made out of foamed cellulose and residual streams from the food industry, meaning it can become raw material for new resources once again.
8 Jun 2022

Erik Lindvall is the Swedish entrepreneur behind the radical, and temporary, material Streamateria, which he describes as ”ultra sustainable.”

— It’s a crazy idea, the vision of clothes that actually grow old on your body, that has now grown into a market-ready startup brand, he says. 

Streamateria, Lindvall continues, is based on ”design-to-die” principles meaning no waste, but only raw material for new resources.

— The inspiration came from a dried leaf in the forest. It was beautiful but dead. We realised that there is nothing wrong with consumption in itself, but just how and what you consume can turn into a problem. We benchmarked how an ecosystem like the forest consumes itself and set out to create an ecosystem that was based on the same principles. 

In 2020, the company created the ­Design to Fade collaboration with PUMA innovation — a capsule collection of running singlets that explored the potential of mass customised, temporary garments, and bio-functions. This spring sees the launch of Streamateria’s new drop; a single-use, designed-to-die material with a limited life expectancy that is printed on demand on a converted 3D printer, creating a product in less than a minute.

— It’s a limited collection of evening tops with unique prints, perfect for long club nights, as they offer bio-functions such as thermo-regulating qualities. This means that there are components within the material that attract moisture. So if you sweat, it sucks up the sweat and keeps you cool. After use, it’s disposed of directly into the food compost to become raw material for new resources once again. Just like in the forest. Since the material is made out of foamed cellulose and residual streams from the food industry, it’s perfect for energy recovery as biogas digestion when you’re done with it. The life expectancy varies. Hanging in the closet, the garment will last for about six months, but once you put them on they start reacting to your body functions, Lindvall explains.