Charlotte McCurdy creates "carbon-negative" raincoat from algae bioplastic - architecture and design

Charlotte McCurdy creates "carbon-negative" raincoat from algae bioplastic



New York designer Charlotte McCurdy has fashioned a water-resistant jacket from a plastic made of algae, which captures existing CO2 from the atmosphere.
The garment is made from a bioplastic material McCurdy developed that consists entirely of biopolymers derived from large-celled algae.
"The jacket is carbon-negative because it is made of marine macro-algae that expands our ability to meet our needs with 'present-tense sunlight'," the Rhode Island School of Design student told Dezeen.
"This algae plastic is made of carbon that has been drawn from the carbon reservoir of the atmosphere and put into the stock of carbon of our built environment."

The large-celled algae are bound together by heat and finally poured into moulds which are custom-made to ensure the plastic survives the curing process. Once solidified, the algae plastic is given a thin coating of wax to improve its resistance to water.
"I developed an entirely plant-based waterproofing wax because everything available in the market or published formulas were either petroleum-based, relying on paraffin, or not vegan, relying on beeswax," explained McCurdy.

The sewing pattern is cut into the plastic while it is still in the mould, before being assembled into the finished product, which at the moment remains a handmade prototype.
"All of the threads and fasteners that bring the jacket together are also fossil-carbon-free," said McCurdy.
"Metal snaps and viscose threads,...
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