Developing alternatives to beads in the form of scalable bio-embellishments while eliminating microplastics and unethical labour from the industry

Long description

Cellsense is a response to the problem of beaded garments: conventional beaded embellishments are produced utilising petroleum plastics and resins, which are then manually assembled into garments. Beaded garments are worn about five times before they end up in landfills—contributing to the microplastic crisis. Cellsense has developed a proprietary method to transform algae and cellulose into durable, transparent bio-embellishments with water resistance and appropriate texture. To replace toxic dyes used in traditional embellishments Cellsense has engineered bacteria to produce vivid colours and unique properties like bioluminescence. Recognising the labour-intensive nature of beadwork, Cellsense has also implemented automation to support ethical labour practices: a bead loom and a robotic syringe can efficiently create large-scale graphic beaded panels in seven minutes, which would otherwise take four hours by hand. Individual Cellsense embellishments can be created on a mass scale using electrodeposition, a technique that streamlines production and lowers energy consumption, forming beads in just 3 minutes.

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