Werewool uses proteins found in nature to create color without the use of toxic chemicals or dyes.

Benefits

  • Reduced carbon emissions
  • Reduced waste
  • Reduced chemical use

Applications

  • Clothing
  • Textiles
  • Manufacturing

UN Sustainable Development Goals Addressed

  • Goal 12: Responsible Production & Consumption

The Challenge

The global textile market produces 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year and uses dyes that are responsible for 20% of global wastewater. The industry also depends on petroleum based synthetic fibers that account for 35% of global microplastic pollution.

Innovation Details

Werewool is creating a revolutionary fiber development platform to create biodegradable fibers with tailored aesthetic and performance properties. Inspired by nature, and utilizing the tools of biotechnology, Werewool is developing a platform to design fibers at the DNA level for sustainable textiles with inherent properties such as color, moisture management, and stretch, that meet the demands of today’s consumers. The team identifies structures found in nature, such as the red fluorescent protein found in some species of Discosoma, a coral relative. They then grow fibers that are reliant on these proteins, creating textiles without the need for toxic dyes, finishes, and petroleum based synthetics.

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Watch how Werewool uses proteins found in nature to produce natural color.

Biomimicry Story

Nature’s organisms have evolved structural proteins to support their ability to survive. For example, the Discosoma Coral depends on the structure of RFP (red fluorescent protein) as a source of colorant to support a symbiotic relationship with an algae to survive. Werewool is emulating proteins found in nature to create natural color, and apply it to create textiles without the use of dyes or pigments.

Ray of Hope Prize

The Ray of Hope Prize® celebrates nature-inspired solutions addressing the world’s biggest environmental and sustainability challenges. Created in honor of Ray C. Anderson, founder of Interface, Inc. and a business and sustainability leader, the $100,000 Ray of Hope Prize helps startups cross a critical threshold in becoming viable businesses by amplifying their stories and providing them with equity-free funding. The prize shines a light on the innovative, nature-inspired solutions that we need to build a sustainable and resilient world. Werewool was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Ray of Hope Prize.