Design Engineering
Showcase 2020


Innovation Design Engineering
Rethinking Resources for a Finite Planet

SaltyCo aims to reduce global freshwater consumption by offering alternative freshwater-free textiles. We do this by using the most abundant water supply on the planet - seawater. We grow salt-tolerant plants by irrigating them with seawater. Once they have grown, we harvest the plants and extract their fibres before manufacturing a variety of natural textile offerings.

Today, 350 million people worldwide risk losing access to freshwater. Our use of this resource is unsustainable and is only getting worse. By 2050, we will have a 40% deficit of freshwater needed to survive. One major consumer is the textile industry where freshwater is used extensively in the production of both natural and synthetic fabrics. For example, the exceptionally high quantity of water required for the creation of a single cotton sock could provide someone with up to 3 years worth of drinking water.

SaltyCo has three products in various stages of development; a technical stuffing that is ready for pilot and what will be used as our entry point to market. We achieve this by ensuring our material is 100% plant-based and fully biodegradable. It displays good water repellency and is 3 times warmer than wool. In addition, we have a non-woven felt and a woven linen-like fabric, both in R&D stage. Textiles can be vegan, fairtrade, organic, and carbon neutral. Now for the first time ever, they can be freshwater-free.

 — SaltyCo
Non-woven Laptop Sleeve: Our non-wovens can work in a variety of contexts and even display impressive water-repellant qualities due to the organic binder we use in production.
 — SaltyCo
Meet the team: Julian, Nelly, Finlay and Antonia 7: A Seawater farm: We do farming differently. By using the most abundant water supply on the planet⁠—seawater. We grow salt-tolerant plants with water pumped from the sea. Once they have grown, we harvest the plants and extract the fibres before manufacturing SaltyCo natural offerings.
 — SaltyCo
SaltyCo was showcased at the Design Museum Symposium for the Moving to Mars exhibition as an example of an organic circular clothing system.


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