Growing fabrics in a laboratory may be the future of fashion, as companies such as Bolt Threads and Modern Meadow make greener materials. Bolt Threads grow spider silk by isolating the proteins and recreating them in a lab using yeast and sugar. Modern Meadow uses similar steps for leather, removing animals from the process.
The cost of producing these alternative fabrics is high for now: a knitted hat from Bolt Threads can be almost $200. However, costs may come down as the technology scales and demand grows.
Will the producers of more sustainable fabrics aim for the vast scale seen at present - or will they also call for limits to consumption, supported by quality goods designed to last?