'The Future of Fashion': Grow your own clothes from the toxic liquid waste released by the tofu production in home factories in Indonesia.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Bali-Sibang Kaja next to Green School Bali (www.greenschool.org)
Location(s) of impact
Indonesia, Bali, Canggu, Sibang Kaja
The Netherlands, Amsterdam
Tofu is made of soy and this is the third largest crop in Indonesia next to rice and corn. The demand for soy products is rising even more in the coming years due to the increase in the population in Indonesia, the increasing consumption in line with rising income and the increasing popularity of soy among consumers who see the positive effects of soy products on health.
Many of the tofu factories are 'home industries' and are extremely energy inefficient, water polluting and unhygienic traditional processes.
The first Soy Factory owner we approached who wants to learn about the process and is now giving the waste instead of dumping it in the river
The goal of 'Earth-gency' is to keep the rivers healthy and clean. No toxic waste dumped in the rivers but healthy clean water for all species to enjoy.
The first steps of creating the soy leather. By boiling the liquid waste with vinegar, sugar and a fertilizer and adding a bacteria and wait for 10 days, the mixture is converted into a microbial cellulose after which it can be dried
After drying the material the result is an organic material, similar in the 'look and feel' with animal leather, produced at low cost and no further residual waste.
The Fashion industry and the Tofu industry are two of the most polluting industries in the world. With the 'Earth-gency!' project a solution is found by growing clothing from the toxic waste released by the tofu production which is dumped into the rivers.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
With the 'Earth-gency!' project a solution is found by growing clothing from the toxic waste released by the tofu production which is dumped into the rivers. By boiling the liquid waste with vinegar, sugar and a fertilizer and adding a bacteria after 10 days, the mixture is converted into a microbial cellulose after which it can be dried. The result is an organic material, similar in the 'look and feel' with animal leather, produced at low cost and no further residual waste. The purpose of the Earth-gency project is to convert the liquid by-product ("whey") into a bio-material that can create fashion products and reduce water pollution. In addition, the economic situation in the lower income areas is improved by offering tofu producers and employees training in the production of the material. Also, guidance will be offered in the development of the material into valuable vegan products
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
In addition to a breakthrough for animals used for leather, the production of this new form of vegan leather contributes to the cleaning of the rivers. Tofu is one of the most consumed products in Asia, and especially in Indonesia, with around 285,000 employees in 85,000 companies. Indonesia has the highest water pollution of Asia and many of the tofu factories are 'home industries' and extremely inefficient and water polluting. There are no appropriate procedures for the treatment of toxic waste, with the result that many of the toxic waste is dumped in the rivers. Tofu is made of soy and this is the third largest crop in Indonesia next to rice and corn. The demand for soy products is rising even more in the coming years which gives higher pressure on the pollution of the rivers, with a negative impact on biodiversity in the rivers. Animals in the rivers die and people become ill.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
Make the production more widely available to bring the product from the Lab to the consumer
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
I grew up in a mostly man-made environment, The Netherlands. The country is well known for its advanced human intervention landscape development. I now live in Indonesia and work at Green School. There is a beautiful river behind the school, but the river is very dirty. When I researched about the reason I found out about the bad state of the rivers in Indonesia. I discovered that research and first testing and production of Soy Leather was performed by XXlab in Yogyakarta, a 'female collective focus on art, science and free technology'. In order to bring the material to the next level, the Earth-gency project is currently working on the further improvement of the quality of the material and scaling up the production to make bigger impact.
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