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A dress made of milk

More and more companies in Germany are discovering biological raw materials as the basis for their products – and they are getting extremely imaginative in the process.

Jasmin Siebert, 17.08.2020
Flowing fabrics: a dress as a dairy product.
Flowing fabrics: a dress as a dairy product. © Hans & Jung GbR

Dressed in milk

A company called QMilk from Hemmingen near Hanover produces fibres from dairy waste that may not be used for human consumption. The milk fibres are formed without any chemicals, but with beeswax and zinc. The fabrics that are woven from it are silky soft, antibacterial and suitable for allergy sufferers.

Cleaning with straw

Because alcohol dissolves grease and dirt, it is often a constituent of cleaning products. Bioethanol can be produced from straw and other crop residues. The Mainz-based eco-brand Frosch sells a surface cleaner containing straw residues from German agriculture.

Compostable diapers

A baby needs at least five diapers a day. This creates a lot of waste and uses a lot of oil, especially for the diaper's absorbent core. Fairwindel, a Brandenburg-based company, sells a disposable diaper that is free of chemicals and fully compostable. Only the velcro fasteners are currently still made of plastic.

Candles from waste grease

Candles usually consist of paraffin or stearin. One is obtained from mineral oil, the other from palm oil, the cultivation of which is often responsible for the destruction of rainforests. Biokema, a company from Sünna in Thuringia, makes candles out of waste grease from restaurants and food factories. The grease is cleaned, ensuring that no carbon is produced during burning.

Cups made of coffee grounds

A Berlin start-up called Kaffeeform collects coffee grounds from surrounding cafés and turns them into dishwasher-safe, coffee-brown cups and to-go mugs. The bio-plastic is produced with the help of plant fibres and biological resin using an injection-moulding process.

Nail polish from algae

The company Ocean Pharma from Reinbek produces nail polish from spider-silk proteins and the micro-algae active substance spiraline. The nail polish is not only harmless to the environment, but also cares for your nails, letting them breathe and inhibiting germs.


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