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Turning Waste Into Wallets and High-tech Antimicrobial Clothing, One Salmon Skin at a Time, plus Suzanne Lee on How to Make Your Own Clothes

Turning Waste Into Wallets, One Salmon Skin at a Time | The Plate

Stashed in: #TED, Ecology!, Awesome, Couture, Fashion, Alaska, Iceland, National Geographic

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How cool:

Food waste is a big problem. We throw out about 40 percent of what we grow or harvest in the U.S. France is now requiring supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity, dumpster diving has become a sport, and American chef Dan Barber is showing us what top chefs can do with food waste with his project, WastED.

But one area has been largely left out of the popular movement: the oceans.

When fishing boats go out on the ocean, they don’t come back with the pristine little fillets we buy at the grocery store. There are heads, tails, spines, scales, skin, and other nasty bits that must be removed. Usually that waste—some two billion pounds just in Alaska—goes right back in the water.

But Craig Kasberg and Zach Wilkinson think they can do better. They started a company to turn seafood waste into salmon leather and eventually plan to spin crab shell fiber into high-tech, antimicrobial clothing.

Yes! Leather is so last century. Fish skin, woven pineapple, and fermented vegetable leather are the high-fashion materials coming to a wardrobe near you.

Suzanne Lee Grow Your Own Clothes TED Talk from 2011: