These days, Laurin is dreaming up new looks that fit her colorful, mystical aesthetic and calling on industry up-and-comers for help bringing them to life. Alongside a team of fashion students at U.C.-Davis, she's tackling the big questions surrounding scoby fabric. Namely: How can it become a scalable option on the mass market?
Laurin hopes that by finding a way to navigate scoby's inherent downfalls (it has an unsavory smell and retains water, for starters), it can become a living, breathing antidote to the resource-intensive fashion industry of today. Her voice comes alive as she describes the potential to bring the flexible, durable, and extremely cheap clothing alternative into developing countries. She's equally excited by the prospect of using the fabric to make healing garments that treat from the outside in. Her team is currently conducting research to see if probiotic-rich scoby clothing can improve the skin biome. What's perhaps most promising, though, is the idea that her clothes can be a model in sustainable design. After all, it doesn't take much land or water to produce scoby, and Laurin's fabrics are free of the toxic chemicals inherent to most fashion manufacturing.
"My work is still underground in a way. I'm just figuring out the R&D of it," she says. "I'm not pushing it as a commercial venture because that's not what I feel it needs right now." Until all the kinks are worked out, you can find Laurin quietly tending to the kombucha pails in her kitchen and backyard, turning it into so much more than something we drink to beat the afternoon slump.
Curious what other materials could compose your 10-years-from-now wardrobe? Check out the sustainable fabrics we're expecting to see make it big.