Innovation @ E2Expo

Seawater plants based textile fabrics and accessories

Updated : 25-Oct-2020


  • Designers (Textile and fashion designers)
  • Textile fiber cultivation professional
  • Textile industry sustainability professionals

An interdisciplinary team of students from Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art have found a way to make fabrics from plants grown in seawater. The fabrics are made from a salt-tolerant plant that thrives in seawater.

After a successful period of trialling, the team is planning to launch three different textile products - woven fabric, a non-woven fabric and a technical stuffing.

The stuffing is the closest to being market-ready and has already been showcased as part of a jacket and SaltyCo has also showcased their non-woven fabric being used for accessories and faux leathers.




| United Kingdom



Highlights and sustainability benefits

The process involves sustainable raw materials and chemicals which naturally degrade in the environment.


SaltyCo is a finalist in the Imperial Enterprise Lab Venture Catalyst Challenge 2020. The student led start-up has been featured in numerous publications such as dezeen, Vogue, Lampoon, GQ, etc. They have also showcased their innovative textile cultivation process and products at the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, Vogue Italia Yoox, Milan Design Week and The Design Museum amongst others.

Product Category

  • Fabric

About the Work

Salt marshes are some of the most planet-healing spaces in the world. Farming their salt-tolerant plants in these environments enables them to offer optimum sustainable accolades. By using their innovative fibre extraction process, the company ensures sustainability throughout the process value chain.

About the Innovator

SaltyCo has provided innovation to reduce water consumption in clothing production. The concept of developing a textile produced from salt-tolerant plants grown using seawater, came to light when Julian Ellis-Brown, Neloufar Taheri, Finlay Duncan and Antonia Contreras from the Royal College of Art, came together for a group research course. After four months in development, gaining feedback and interest from people in the industry, they entered the Imperial Enterprise Lab’s Venture Catalyst Challenge 2020 and received a £10,000 grant to assist in the development of their sustainable textile.

Other Sections

Sustainable Tech @ work

Sustainable Case Studies

Sustainable Carbon Focus

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