Admitted: You cannot use 100% seaweed, spin it and weave it to make fabric.


There are great innovations, where common fibers are blended with a small amount of newly discovered substances with the goal to add positive features such as softness or a sun screen without having to apply chemistry! The two examples were developped by a company called smartfiberAG.

The basis of both fabrics is Lyocell.

Lyocell is, just like the more established viscose, made of cellulose. In most cases cellulose comes from wood.

The difference is, that for lyocell sustainable wood is used and the chemical stuff that is needed for making the fiber is being used in a so called cradle-to-cradle system, where chemistry is used over and over again. A clear advantage in comparison to viscose, where the usage of chemistry is high and only once!

The recipe is as clear as ecological: Take a sustainable fiber like Tencel® and make it even better by adding seaweed or zinc.

S e a C e l l ™ LT- F i b e r

Seaweed is known for helping allergy prone people with reducing skin itches and irritations. The seaweed that is gently harvested in the Icelandic fjords is being processed in a patented process and inserted into the lyocell fiber. The result is a supersoft fabric with 4% seaweed content.


You’ll find the fabric for example in the collection of the Cologne based label Funktionsschnitt, that makes great basics in wonderful qualtiy:

Funktionsschnitt front and back top

Funktionsschnitt longsleeve front and back

s m a r t c e l  ™ sensitive

This fabric magically consists of 16% zinc oxide.

Zinc is anti inflammatory, anti bacterial and odor minimizing and protects against UV-A and UV-B radiation. All features that so far could only be achieved with the use of chemical fabric applications. The manufacturer’s specifications claim that the zinc can be retained even after many wash cycles.

You can find the fiber for example in socks of the brand Lindner and Falke.


  • thanks to those developments, there are more and more fabrics that do without environmentally harmful chemical applications
  • modern needs in fabrics such as solar protection or neurodermatitis compatibility are object to research goals and can be realized with the latest technology
  • sustainable quality markers such as skin friendliness and longevity are getting more and more available for customers and make it easy to take a considerate decision

Curious about what other innovative fibers, DIY options and sustainable clothing there’s out there?

Designmob, together with the education team of future fashion forward e.V. is offering workshops on these topics in schools: