background stories

Micro algae

Micro algae

There are two types of algae; macro (seaweed) and micro algae. Both types are interesting in their own way. Because they use photosynthesis to grow when algae is produced on a larger scale this will reduce CO2.

Algae and seaweeds are seen as a new food source for future generations should, due to extensive growth of human population and climate change, regular food sources come up short.

"But, we are in the business of design and we want something beautiful. Luckily we found a special quality in our micro algae".

We started growing micro algae like spirulina and the others we found growing in ponds and puddles. The algae grows in freshwater environments, and it’s easy to grow yourself. It has a certain seaweedy smell. We noticed that the colour is a nice blue green. We did already dye wool, seacell/silk yarn and cotton with seaweed, but using the micro algae the colour kept disappearing from the treated fibres. We'll keep on trying to master deriving colour from micro algea, because doing desk-research we found that it is possible to separate two colours; the blue from the green. But it seemed only possible in high-tech lab conditions.

It’s hard to let go of a good thing, and we are now able to split the two colours ourselves.

We’ll keep experimenting till we can capture this colour effect into a design product.

Photography | Ernie Enkelaar