Future utilization of macro and microalgae in the textile industry in Iceland

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Last summer, Sigmundur Páll Freysteinsson, a master's student in textile and fashion design at Kyoto University and Kyoto Seika University in Japan, worked on the project Future utilization of macro and microalgae in the textile industry in Iceland in close collaboration with Matís. The project was supported by the Student Innovation Fund.

The textile and clothing industry is far behind in adopting better and more environmentally friendly processes and is considered one of the most polluting industries in the world. Algae can be a unique raw material to use for environmentally friendly textile dyeing. Various nations have realized the utilization potential of large and small algae, but now there is an opportunity to use them in the production of natural textile dyes, which has not been known before. The project involved both an in-depth study of sources on coastal products in Iceland as well as color experiments with the large and small algae that can be considered for large-scale production. The project looks to the future and promotes sustainability, innovation and new opportunities related to the textile industry, design and algae cultivation in Iceland. One of the ingredients that was tested was a blue nutritional and antioxidant substance that VAXA Technologies has developed, among other things, in the project Iceblue. Macroalgae from the project were also tested MINERVA.

Matís is also involved in both of these projects, but Iceblue is funded by Ranni's Technology Development Fund as part of the Eurostars program of the European Union. MINERVA is funded by the BlueBio Cofund.

Sigmundur with the instructors at Matís – Rósa Jónsdóttir and Margréti Geirsdóttir.
Here you can see a beautiful dyeing test on Icelandic wool with a blue nutrient and antioxidant from VAXA Technologies.
Here you can see a color palette made from Icelandic large and small algae processed on cotton.