Sustainable and circular bioeconomy for food systems transformation

Bioeconomy and circular fashion: Transforming sustainability into style


A World Food Forum Event

The bioeconomy team of FAO’s Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment (OCB) and Bites of Transfoodmation (BoT) highlighted the incredible potential of wearable food waste during an event at October’s World Food Forum in FAO headquarters in Rome. The event showcased how food waste can be transformed into fashionable and eco-conscious clothing, creating a win-win for both fashion enthusiasts and the planet.

Participating brands like Ananas AnamBananatexBarbara della RovereOrange FiberSpora Studio and Vegea are not just fashion related labels; they are changemakers and great examples how it is possible to shift the fashion industry. They're weaving the future fabric of fashion – literally – by transforming what we usually discard as waste into wearable materials. From orange fibres to mushroom leather, the variety of sustainable materials and wearable pieces showcased changed everyone’s perception of what's possible in fashion.

By combining the innovative power of bioeconomy with circular fashion principles, we're not only reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry but also fostering economic growth and creativity. This dual approach is driving a pattern shift towards a more sustainable and responsible future in fashion. Bioeconomy in fashion embraces nature's gift by using organic and bio-based materials like organic cotton, fruits and vegetables. By using parts of the plant that would otherwise be discarded, this also has an environmental benefit, while helping to preserve biodiversity and reduce the use of chemicals.

Turning food waste into fashion through a bioeconomy approach

The fashion industry is undergoing a remarkable shift towards sustainability, driven by a growing awareness of environmental issues. At the heart of this transformation lies an exciting concept: bioeconomy.

Bioeconomy is an innovative approach that leverages the power of nature to create eco-friendly fabrics and materials. This is one of the many reasons why bioeconomy is a game changer not only for fashion but for how it contributes to a more sustainable future.

One groundbreaking aspect of bioeconomy in fashion is the transformation of food waste into textiles. Imagine orange peels, coffee grounds, and other food scraps being turned into beautiful fabrics! This innovative process not only reduces waste but also opens up exciting new possibilities for sustainable fashion.

Biotechnology plays a key role in the bioeconomy of fashion. Innovations have led to the creation of plant-based leather and bio-fabricated textiles, offering cruelty-free alternatives to traditional animal-derived materials. These cutting-edge options showcase the potential of harnessing nature's resources in a responsible and innovative way.

Bioeconomy and circular fashion go hand in hand. Circular fashion is about keeping clothing in use for as long as possible and making sure that materials are recycled and repurposed.

Find out more about FAO's new project on turning waste from the banana production chain in Pakistan into textiles here.

Photo credit: © FAO