Future of Fashion: Innovative Fabric – QMilk Fibre

The Future of Fashion - Innovative Fibre - QMilk

QMILK fiber is compostable, flame retardant, soft and smooth as silk. QMilk fiber is made from milk which is no longer suitable for internal consumption and would otherwise be disposed of as a secondary waste. QMilk also patented a specifically designed fibre spinning process which requires little water and energy.

1) So, what is QMilk Fabric and how do you create it?

Qmilk is the first natural fiber made from non-food grade milk. We came up with the idea for QMilk after my stepdad suffered from cancer and we were looking for chemically untreated fabrics. While researching we discovered an old process from the 1930’s when they were creating textiles from milk. Of course back then it was produced with lots of chemicals such as formaldehyde, but we wondered maybe we could use milk to create an environmentally friendly version of the fabric.

2) Why are you creating QMilk?

A global population explosion combined with finite resources means the planet cannot sustain ever-increasing levels of consumption using current models of production. Qmilk offers an alternative by using currently wasted resource – sour milk – and turning it into an eco-friendly fibre.

3) What other projects in the sustainable textiles/fashion space are you are excited about (done by you or others)?

We are excited to see increasing number of products created from food waste. In our opinion these alternative resources will be the future of fashion.

4) How do you see the future of fashion?

Sadly fashion industry is known for being increasingly wasteful. Most people are unaware about the environmental and social strains whilst making our clothing. Yet, more people are becoming aware about the issues in the industry and choose responsibly produced garments and make them last much longer. Still, with growing depletion on global resources we won’t be able to meet the demands unless we find alternative fibres.

5) Anything else you’d like to add/say!?

More than 2 million tons of milk are disposed of every year in Germany alone as it is no longer suitable for internal consumption. However, it is a global problem. Therefore we hope to upcycle this waste stream into a new quality textile material.

What do you think of QMilk fibre? Share your thoughts by tweeting us @Amberoot, or in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

This article is part of series “Future of Fashion Series”:

AlgiKnit – Kelp Fibre,
Nanollose – Fabric From Microbial Cellulose,
Bolt Threads – Spider Silk & Mushroom Leather Mylo e,
Pili – Dyeing Using Microorganisms,
Mango Materials – Biodegradable Polyester,
Mestic Fibre – Cow Dung Fibre,
Orange Fibre – Fibre From Orange Skins,
MycotTex – Mushroom Mycelium Fibre,
Zoa Leather – Bioengineered Animal Leather.
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3 thoughts on “Future of Fashion: Innovative Fabric – QMilk Fibre

  1. Did now know about that – cool! Would be great if you had some products for men from milk fibre too! 🙂

  2. How can you say that QMilk Fibre is environmentally friendly when it is made from animal milk? Dairy is not sustainable and if 2 million tons of milk is disposed of in Germany every year, this is just another example of why we should not be consuming dairy products. Most people who are genuinely concerned about ‘the environment’ have chosen a vegan lifestyle. Instead of making use of discarded milk, we should be discouring the production of it in the first place.

  3. I agree with you Carol – world should go vegan both for environmental and ethical reasons (hopefully not choosing plastic ingredients along the way as a better (which is not) alternative). I agree with you Qmilk and Mestic is far from ideal and the goal is not to use animals like that.

    Just when thinking of how to go forward let’s consider what is currently used in apparel production today:
    1) 64% plastic/synthetic fabrics (drilling for coal & oil, microfiber shedding, wearing it in average 4 times and then discarding plastic clothing for hundreds of years to stay on earth (since less than 1% of all clothing is recycled worldwide) is not the way to go.
    2) 25% of cotton, which uses a quarter of world’s insecticides and 11% of pesticides is called the world’s dirtiest crop – we already suffer an absolutely devastating decrease in insect numbers (which all creatures depend on). Moreover, this pollutes the health of ecosystems (soil, water, air) and all sorts of creatures (including us).
    3) this leaves 11% for wood fabrics, wool, other cellulosic fabrics (linen, hemp, etc.. https://www.amberoot.com/category/biodegradable-textile-fabrics/). Our goal is to drastically increase the use of these ones considering how efficient they are per land acre mainly. Moreover, new innovative fabrics are also the way to go (https://www.amberoot.com/future-of-fashion-series).

    To sum up, today we think Qmilk and Mestic are better on environmental and ethical aspects (mainly due to being waste products otherwise) than plastic fabrics or conventionally grown cotton which is what almost all industry is today – that is why they are included in these article series. However, I fully agree with you that these are not exactly how we want our good future to be. Find our ranking tool listing best and worst fabrics here https://www.amberoot.com/policy-on-materials-and-fabrics/ where you can see milk (casein) fabric ranked pretty low.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment and caring.

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