Blog Post

Renewable Vibes > News > Sustainable Living > Keel Labs introduces its groundbreaking T-shirt made from Kelsun Fiber, derived from seaweed.

Keel Labs introduces its groundbreaking T-shirt made from Kelsun Fiber, derived from seaweed.

North Carolina-based Keel Labs is launching its first T-shirt made from its seaweed-based Kelsun fiber. The T-shirt, developed in collaboration with climate activist and sustainable fashion influencer Aditi Mayer, showcases the first full garment made with the fiber on existing industry-standard machines. This milestone represents the culmination of six years of fiber development and a focus on scalability. Keel Labs has now reached a “plug-and-play” level that allows brands to use the fiber on their existing machinery, making it easier to integrate into their supply chains.

The T-shirt is made from a jersey knit fabric composed of 70 percent Kelsun seaweed-based yarn and 30 percent cotton. The logo is printed using algae-based Living Ink. Chief executive officer Tessa Callaghan explains that one of the intentions behind this piece is to help people understand the concept of fibers and their integration into the fashion industry. By showcasing the T-shirt, Keel Labs aims to address larger problems facing the mass market industries and demonstrate that sustainable solutions can be simple and accessible to everyone.

Keel Labs previously partnered with Stella McCartney, using the Kelsun fiber in her spring ’24 collection. The launch of the T-shirt emphasizes that the fiber can be used outside of the luxury industry and offers a basic solution that can be applied to almost every wardrobe. Callaghan believes that collaborating with the mass market is essential to complementing the work done with luxury brands. Fashion is a fundamental component of daily life and has a significant impact beyond the runway.

To create structural change in the fashion industry, Keel Labs is working on several collaborations designed to fit into existing lines and create a broad impact across the industry. The goal is to provide solutions at all price points in the market and value chain. Aditi Mayer highlights the urgent need for the industry to reassess its fiber choices, as material choices alone are responsible for over half of a brand’s total emissions. Kelsun’s renewable source integration addresses fashion’s plastics problem and eliminates pesticide and agricultural land use.

Over the past two years, Keel Labs has focused on reaching the plug-and-play level for its fiber as a solution for existing factories. The next step is to bring these items into a commercial setting as quickly as possible. In June 2022, the company closed a $13 million series A funding round, which included H&M Group’s Co:Lab among other venture capital players. This funding will support Keel Labs’ efforts to bring its sustainable fiber to a wider market and accelerate the shift towards more environmentally friendly fashion.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *