Suzanne Lee

If you’re familiar with BioCouture then you might know Suzanne Lee. She is a fashion designer working on fashion and future technologies. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, the Director of The BioCouture Research Project. Her recent project BioCouture looks at ecological and sustainability issues surrounding fashion.


I’m not sure exactly when I first heard of BioCouture but it’s been on my mind for a while now. BioCouture is a research project using nature to suggest an innovative future fashion vision. Suzanne Lee uses microbial cellulose (composed of millions of tiny bacteria grown in bathtubs of sweet green tea) to produce clothing. The idea is to grow a dress in a vat of liquid to produce bacterial cellulose – a material that has similar properties to leather, “kind of like a vegetable leather” according to Suzanne. This material is not just biodegradable, it’s compostable, meaning that you could throw it away like you would your vegetable peelings. (Talk of eco-friendly.)


According to a Dezeen article, in future, Lee believes that clothing materials themselves could be living organisms that could work symbiotically with the body to nourish it and even monitor it for signs of disease.


In her own words:
“What we have right now are living organisms making us materials, but then the organism is killed and the material just exists like any other. But I can imagine that we will eventually move towards the material itself being living while it’s on you, and having a direct relationship to your whole body in this happy micro-biome environment and perhaps diagnosing and treating, nourishing in some way the body surface so becoming part of your wellbeing.”


BioCouture was included in Time Magazine’s annual roundup of The Top 50 Best Inventions of 2010.


Would you like to wear a dress that’s alive?:)




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