Algae Fabrics



The fashion industry is facing many challenges as the textile consumption is expected to increase three times by 2050. In addition, there is almost no circularity in the industry as 95% of textiles after its’ product lifetime is burnt. As a result, Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven sees this as an opportunity for changes towards a more sustainable fashion industry.


Project AlgaeFabrics envisions algae as a future raw textile material and develops a strategy on how to achieve this. Organic organisms of algae are spread globally in the oceans and lakes and are the crucial element in the carbon flux as it converts large volumes of CO2 to oxygen. This makes a positive impact in dealing with the global warming.


In places with an excessive growth, algae unwanted and cause problems like worsening water quality and negative effects on local communities. From some lakes, it is already being removed but usually just left to decompose or burnt without any actual use. This raises a question what new applications could be invented for algae. Cladophora, an algae species we work with, is rich in Cellulose making up to 70% its’ content. This makes a great potential to upgrade algae value and apply it in the textile industry. By applying design thinking and experimenting in our studio lab we develop ways on how to achieve this.



AlgaeFabrics has been honored with a Global Change Award 2015 initiated by H&M Foundation as one of the top five winning concepts on how to close the loop of fashion. The H&M Foundation supports this 3 year project with their extensive network in the fashion industry and a substantial grant.

With our small spinning machine we occasionally produce test filaments made from various cellulose sources. Over the past years STV can conclude that making fast fashion yarns from algae is not a very smart idea. Even though from a sustainability perspective it makes sense, from a business perspective it is rather silly for there are many cellulose sources that are more accessible and suitable than algae. AlgaeFabrics is however the project where we have developed insight and knowledge on how to convert cellulose to cellulose filament.