How Did We Turn Expired Milk Into Fashion Fabric?
Wearing clothes made of milk?
We’ve talked about making products from cork and recycled plastic in previous blogs. But have you heard about making clothes from expired milk? You’re probably thinking, “There’s no way I’m going to wear clothes made from expired milk! I don’t want to just look good, I want to smell good too!”. Don’t worry, the process used to make the clothes separate the casein protein from the sour milk. Let’s break it down (no pun intended)!
Crying over Spilt Milk:
A study shows that 1 in 6 pints of milk are thrown away, each year. Another study shows that 116 million tons of dairy products are wasted globally. There is so much milk being wasted away, either because the milk has gone bad or because of laws. A law in Montana requires a “sell by date” of 12 days after pasteurization and prohibits sale or donation after that date.
A fashion designer in Italy says that it only takes less than half a gallon of milk to make. Imagine that. If all, or even a small percentage, of all that milk that’s being wasted went towards creating clothing, there should be less of a need to make clothing out of materials that isn’t eco-friendly, like cotton products, which requires a lot of water to produce, or nylon and polyester, both of which are non-biodegradable among other things.
1) The process starts with the milk being heated to exactly 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Ferment the milk to remove fat and dewatered.
3) Afterward, the casein is strained, dried, and ground into powder.
4) The powder is whipped into a fiber and then twisted into thread and woven into the fabric
A History Lesson:
Milk fabric isn’t new. It was invented in the 1930s but the milk fabrics made back then were chemical-heavy, with chemicals like formaldehyde being used. But, technology has made it possible for milk fabrics to be made without as many chemicals being applied.
Too much milk has been wasted. We encourage everyone to consume less. Our innovative method to convert expired milk to fashion fabric will bring more awareness to the milk industry. Join us to recycle, reuse, and reduce food waste.