This T-shirt is Made From Spilled Milk

Startup makes biodegradable clothing.

Aug 30, 2020

In the last few years, biotechnology has been changing the way we think about fashion by turning organic waste into sustainable fibers. Revolutionary textiles made from pineapples, oranges, grapes, and even mushrooms are here to stay. And now, an amazing invention joins the sustainable trend by turning spoiled milk into biodegradable T-shirts. 

Mi Terro, an exciting and innovative startup based in Los Angeles, was founded by CEO Robert Luo. After visiting his uncle’s dairy farm in China in 2018, and noticing the immense amounts of milk being dumped, Luo realized something must be done. According to Mi Terro, 40 percent of food including 128 million tons of milk are wasted annually. This generates around 3.3 billion tons of greenhouse gases. 

Luo soon came up with a way to turn food waste into clothes, According to Inhabitat, the first step is getting the main supply (spoiled milk, in this case) from farmers, food processing factories, and grocery stores.

The company then uses technology to extract and purify the casein protein molecules from the spoiled milk bacteria. Last but not least, the clean casein protein is spun into biodegradable fibers to form an eco-friendly yarn.

Not only is Luo’s solution extremely creative, it also adds benefits to the clothing he manufactures. According to Interesting Engineering, the process uses 60 percent less water than is used when making organic cotton shirts, and the textile feels three times softer than cotton.

Plus, the clothing is antimicrobial, odor-free, anti-wrinkle, and temperature-regulating. These clothes are also healthy to wear; each T-shirt has 18 amino acids that nourish the skin. But there’s even more! The company has committed to planting 15 trees for every purchase.

Mi Terro launched its milk-made T-shirt online in 2019. As it has now sold in over 40 countries around the world, the company is collaborating with farmers from America and Asia to help them recycle and reuse milk waste. 

The future is even brighter for this company. Its groundbreaking process can also be used to create a sustainable substitute for plastic. Their ultimate goal would be to replace petroleum-based materials with protein-based materials made from food waste. This, in itself, has countless applications for the fashion, health care, and packaging industries.

Innovative and inspiring solutions are proving to be the answer to the growing waste and sustainability challenges the globe faces these days. Eco-conscious businesses such as Mi Terro are creating a circular economy and are having a huge positive impact on the environment. Their vision for sustainable solutions may soon impact the entire world.

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DAIANA BROJT, CONTRIBUTOR
With a love for fashion, technology, self-development, nature and communication, Daiana is a freelance writer. She is the creator of an online community platform dedicated to providing inspiration and information on trends, developments and positive impact initiatives in the world of Sustainable Fashion.