Microorganisms tend to produce microbial dyes in response to altered growth conditions. This helps the microbes from external influences such as temperature or pH changes. Yet, their dyes can be an upcoming alternative in the fashion industry. Karin Fleck, the founder of Vienna Textile Lab, talks about the high points in establishing the company, obstacles she had to overcome, and the potential of using microbial dyes as a sustainable alternative in the fashion value chain.
In conversation with Innovation Origins, Fleck talks about the research that went behind starting the company, the challenges of using bacteria as raw material, and the technical know-how that must be employed to extract the dyes from the microbes. She's pleased over the exposure Vienna Textile Lab has received through international competitions such as Climate Launchpad. She places confidence in the structures established in the company and also places a lot of significance in the mentors and experts who helped shape the company's systems. Vienna Textile Lab differs from other start-ups in this industry as they opt to make solid colors and collaborate with large corporations, but also with niche companies, artists, and designers.
Read more: Interview with Karic Fleck, Founder of Vienna Textile Lab
Microbial dyes used in fashion supply chain
Challenges of using bacteria as raw material for dyes
Techniques used to extract microbial dyes
Collaboration between research organizations and fashion designers
Mentorship support for textile innovations