Why do we still make clothes which last for 40 years if we only wear them for 1 or 2 years?
The initial purpose of MycoTEX was to create a textile out of living material and to learn how to develop a real garment out of it. Aniela started by combining mycelium (and its peculiar properties) with textiles, in order to create flexible composite products. Learning whilst researching, her goal turned into developing textiles consisting exclusively of pure mycelium. Along the research process, Aniela developed a method for retaining flexibility without using traditional textile materials. Aniela’s inspiration comes from the observation of ‘soft bodies’ species. Such organisms grow by replicating themselves over and over again, following some sort of modular pattern. This observation inspired Aniela to build the textile out of modules, a solution which consequently provided a number of relevant benefits.
Repair and replacement of the garment are in fact easy to perform and do not interfere with the look of the fabric. Furthermore, the garment can be built three-dimensionally and shaped whilst being made, fitting the wearer’s wishes. Thus, it is possible to create mycelium patterns, to adjust the length of the garment or for example to add elements. This allows growth of just the right amount of needed material, eliminating every potential leftover / waste during the making process. Aniela’s explorations resulted in a dress with such qualities. Once the garment is not in use anymore, it can easily be composted, allowing to completely rethink future possibilities for fashion items.