The MATERIAL LAB exhibition by Studio Nima at OutDoor by ISPO

After the success of the first edition of the Material Lab at ISPO Munich 2023, innovative circular materials were again put into the spotlight at OutDoor by ISPO 2024. Curated once again by Studio Nima, the Material Lab, part of the Sustainability Hub, showcased a wide variety of solutions: bio-based yarns, plant-derived pigments, and alternatives to leather and rubber. The exhibition focused on the entire life cycle of materials, from the initial resource to the final result, through the intermediate stages.

Among the companies present at OutDoor by ISPO 2024 were:

  • Malai Eco from India, who showcased their bacterial cellulose fermentation process;
  • Fraxinea, who created a foam material suitable for use as a yoga mat called SymbioMat;
  • Spinnova, whose revolutionary technology enables the production of yarns from wood pulp from eucalyptus trees;
  • Kuori, part of the Materials Design Map, exhibited their bio-based, biodegradable, and elastic materials designed to replace traditional rubber;
  • OurCarbon, presenting a carbon-negative material innovation derived from sewage sludge;
  • Revoltech, showcased their hemp-based leather alternative;
  • Ponda, exhibited their naturally water-repellent and lightweight goose down alternative, made from typha fibers;
  • Ohoskin, an Italian start-up based in Sicily, developed a coated textile fabric from oranges and cacti, byproducts of the food and cosmetic industry;
  • Re-root-tex, with their high-performance pineapple leaf yarn produced in Bangladesh;
  • Climafibre, exhibited their fibers, dyes and a hydropic coating made of sunflowers, a crop that can support regenerative food systems, protect biodiversity and aid climate mitigation.

The Material Lab also featured student projects from the MA programme Material Futures at Central Saint Martins. Ilaria Quinte with Beyond Flares, which harnesses antioxidant-rich pigments from microalgae and synthesized bacterial extracts to dye fabrics that interact with the skin, alleviating inflammatory symptoms like pruritus and shielding against external bacteria. Another project, Cuemai by Alonso Hernandez, utilizes waste from tequila production to create agave-based fibers and textiles.

In addition to presenting a wide selection of materials and processes, the Material Lab aims to reflect on relevant themes related to bio-based materials: what are the expectations towards biomaterials? Do we need fully identical alternatives to currently used materials with the same properties? What sustainability factors are the most important when it comes to biomaterials? How can we speed up their industrialization and realization?

The Material Lab at OutDoor by ISPO 2024 has once again proven to be a platform fostering dialogue and innovation in the realm of sustainable materials. Here you can find more information about the Material Lab. To learn more about Studio Nima and their work, you can read our interview and visit their website and Instagram page! (Photo courtesy of Studio Nima)

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