All of us take part in the consumption of clothing, in one way or another. The fashion industry relies on consumers consuming goods at a rapid speed. Traditionally, fashion brand would bring out clothing for the Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter collections, but nowadays fast fashion brands bring out new clothing on basically a weekly basis. This drives the fashion-forward consumers to consume at an alarming rate. The problem does not only lie in the rapid speed of the market, but also the possibly questionable quality of the clothes. In many cases the life span of the newly purchased clothing is intentionally shorter than what it used to be.
Of course as we discuss fast fashion clothing, the topic of harmful chemicals pops up, how else can you manufacture clothing at a rapid speed and for a minimal price unless you jeopardise the quality of the product and the safety of your consumers. The issues vary from clothing having lead, which has been shown to be dangerous to humans at any level, to possible pesticides in the clothing, formaldehyde and many others alike.
Nowadays many issues in regards to the textile industry are well known, but not many take into account what happens to their clothing once either their life span has ended or as a consumer you are ready to give it up. There are many that try to sell their clothes forward, and there are lots of traditional thrift stores out there or online applications for this as well as some that just plainly donate their clothing to charities. Such solutions are great as long as the clothing finds a home, but even still it is just a pit stop before the final destination that is either a recycling center or a landfill.
This is where the problems start, though there are some solutions for what to do with textile waste, they tend to be towards certain fibres like cotton or other natural ones. Even in these cases the solutions are not on a scale that could answer to the staggering amount of textile waste. Even plain sorting of materials is difficult and the textiles may include harmful textiles within them. Most of the textile waste out there is either dumped into a landfill or burnt for energy. Neither solution is a viable one considering its long term effects.
That is why Temu Materials exists. We sought out to solve the problem of textile waste on a large scale and our solution to it is mushrooms. We chose mushrooms because they basically are nature’s cleaning crew, as they degrade anything around them or if they are not able to degrade it then the mushrooms take the substances and consume it without ever leaking out the harmful toxins they may include.
This alone, of course, is not yet a business. Thus we began to research the possibilities of mushrooms and soon it was clear that we would make leather out of it. Mushroom leather would not only be a far more sustainable product compared to normal or synthetic leather, but also the simplicity of the production process would make it far less time-consuming.
The core of Temu Materials is to degrade textile waste by growing mushrooms that will be produced into leather, which we will then sell to fashion companies. We aim for long lasting relationships with our customers, in such a way that we take not only our own materials back but also all the unusable textiles they may possess. We aim to be a company that has a truly circular economy inspired business model.
The Temu team’s story is one filled with luckily coincidences, the team members met for the first time at an event called the Textile Hackahton where they formed the so called dream team: two innovative business people and two visionary engineers with a burning passion to ease the burden caused by the fashion industry but without compromising their own thoughts in regards to fashion and consumption.
The story almost ended after they had won the Textile Hackahton, but luckily the team’s now leader decided that the idea was too good not to push forward and decided to rally up the forces to again work hard towards a better tomorrow. The team has had their successes, failures, fights and celebrations, yet their combined strengths and unyielding belief in what they are doing has kept them on the path towards new adventures and possibly new team members as well as partners.
Currently the team is working hard to get the research and development started, as well as acquiring funding needed and also looking forward to discussion with possible customers so that we can better answer their needs with our innovative idea.
Temu Materials – the unusable made fashionable