To grow a shoe
The Biocouture Shoe
Suzanne Lee (art director), Liz Ciokajlo-Squire, Aaron Lampert,Thomas Makryniotis
BioCouture is pioneering a biodesign and manufacture future for fashion, sportswear and luxury brands. Founded by Suzanne Lee in 2003, the BioCouture atelier has explored the use of living cultures of microorganisms (yeast and bacteria) to grow biomaterials like cellulose into sustainable, compostable clothing. BioCouture has recently evolved into a consultancy, building partnerships with emerging biomaterial producers to speculate and shape the future of grown consumer products.
The BioCouture atelier is currently investigating the use of living microorganisms to produce the world’s first ‘grown’ shoe. The ‘En Vie’ exhibition showcases the very first grown prototypes. The film, entitled ‘Shoe Factory Tour’, takes you on a journey around a future bio facility where custom shoes are designed and grown. In a world of increasingly stressed natural resources, environmental challenges and population growth we need to radically rethink what constitutes sustainable consumer products.
In a world of increasingly stressed natural resources, we need to radically rethink what constitutes sustainable consumer products.
The BioCouture shoe speculates on an alternate future where, instead of relying on materials derived from unsustainable petrochemical industries or land needed for food, we move to a biotech model. We propose closed loop systems of synthetically engineered organisms that will ferment materials, directly forming into finished products with no need for chemical dyes or finishes and zero waste. We believe in a beautiful, better, biodesigned future. At ‘En Vie’ you can also see images from our archive of garments grown from microbes along with material swatches to touch. For the duration of the exhibition, BioCouture.co.uk will also feature work in progress posts on our ‘Atelier’ blog, as we innovate with the grown shoe experiment.