The push towards sustainability has permeated almost every industry in the world. From green architecture to sustainable skincare products, countless companies have made it their mission to replace nonrenewable or toxic materials with eco-friendly alternatives. The fashion industry is no different, seeing an increase in brands embracing sustainable materials like recycled cotton or organic hemp, even recycled water bottles.

But what if you could make a t-shirt from something that you don’t need to plant and grow, but already exists and would otherwise go to waste?

The push towards sustainability has permeated almost every industry in the world. From green architecture to sustainable skincare products, countless companies have made it their mission to replace nonrenewable or toxic materials with eco-friendly alternatives. The fashion industry is no different, seeing an increase in brands embracing sustainable materials like recycled cotton or organic hemp, even recycled water bottles.

But what if you could make a t-shirt from something that you don’t need to plant and grow, but already exists and would otherwise go to waste?

The LA-based startup, Mi Terro, has made a name for itself by creating soft and allergen-free clothing from the most unlikely of sources: milk waste. Mi Terro has managed to use milk waste to create clothing that’s not only sustainable, but also wearable and safe for your skin.

From Milk to Clothing

After founder and CEO, Robert Luo, visited his uncle’s dairy farm in China, he was shocked by the amount of wasted milk he saw. This led him to investigate food waste in agriculture, which, in turn, led to the development of Mi Terro. Mi Terro partners with farmers and food processing facilities who procure milk waste, which is defined as milk that’s expired, spoiled, or full of bacteria. They then turn this milkwaste into sustainable fibers and polymers.

Using this milk fiber material, Mi Terro manages to make clothing that is not only softer and more comfortable than cotton, but much more sustainable as well. Because our skin absorbs the microfibers from the clothes we wear, the materials we use to make our clothes can have a huge effect on the skin. The milkfiber used by Mi Terro is packed with amino acids that make it particularly well-suited for people with skin allergies or who are prone to irritation.

Expanding Outwards

Mi Terro sees that this process can extend well beyond just clothing. Its goal is to use milk fiber to replace plastic in the fashion industry, but in the medical and packaging industries as well. In fact, the company is developing a new technology to recycle the whey from milk to re-engineer it into biodegradable food packaging film.

Shawn

About Shawn

Founder & CEO of Lovesac, a Designed for Life furniture company. I have a goal of building products that are truly sustainable. Would you believe, I won a $1 million investment on Fox’s “Rebel Billionaire” show in 2005 and became President of Virgin Worldwide with Richard Branson’s companies for a time. Since then, I'm growing Lovesac to a 65+ store chain, recognized in Furniture Today as America’s fastest growing furniture retailer. I'm becoming known for my invention of Sactionals® Lovesac’s industry-disruptive sofa invention. Check out my vlog on YouTube! Get Off The Couch, with Shawn Nelson of Lovesac

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