Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience

The latest textile technology is emerging and quite exciting. Sweden reveals the world’s first garment made entirely from recycled cotton. The end game is to advance technology to the point of adding nutrients to clothes so if they are composted, they would benefit the soil.

With the world population growing rapidly and the competition to stay fashionable, apparel consumption has almost doubled since 2010.

Traditional garment recycling methods transform used garments into other materials such as carpet padding and filler, but the end life of those secondary materials end up in landfills anyway.

Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Technology has developed a way of recreating cotton, which not only accounts for roughly a third of the world’s textile consumption but is also in danger of becoming a scarce resource. The technology allows for recycling of all materials that contain cellulose.

Recycled cotton dress

Dress made entirely from recycled cotton. Photograph: SKS Textiles

According to Teijin, a recycled polyester process reduces CO2 emissions by 77% compared to polyester made from petroleum. The process also reduces the consumption of petroleum, the raw material from which polyester is made.

“The dyes are a problem, which is why we need innovation in dyes,” Lewis Perkins, senior vice president of the San Francisco-based Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute says. “But in the future we could even add valuable nutrients to clothes, which would benefit the soil when we compost them.”

Read about these technology advances in textiles.

Now that’s what I call full-circle recycle processes!

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SolaRoad in Krommenie, the Netherlands, will be the world’s first cycle path with embedded solar panels. Around 2,000 cyclists ride its two lanes on an average day. Solar panels embedded in the cycle path near Amsterdam could generate enough electricity to power three houses, with potential to extend the technology to roads.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our roads act like solar panels? And if we could drive our vehicles with the solar power generated by this? That was the brainchild of the developers at SolaRoad and what led to the first solar cycle path.

blog SolaRoad

What kernel of an idea do you have that will revolutionize the way we live in this world?


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There are so many places to turn for information in our society.  Squiggles of light and pixels and flat screens have taken over the places which used to be occupied by musty, dusty tomes of the ‘archaic’ printed page.  While the storage capacity of a Nook or Kindle is greater than the average bookshelf, the preservation of the material that made up those bound volumes is a passion for scholars and bibliophiles alike.

This very interesting melding of laboriously documented printed texts into a digital format will allow them to be shared with an audience not planning a trip to the mountains of Tibet.  There are many who value these teachings and wish to imbibe of the knowledge regardless of their geographical limitations…

Read about the Tibetan eText Repository by clicking the logo:

TBRC logo


It is fitting that the old and the new come together in harmony…as stated in TBRC’s Mission statement:

To preserve and share the Tibetan literary heritage through the union of technology and scholarship.

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Once again, I get to report that the textile industry is really making the investment into sustainable products. Just announced, CRAiLAR Flax is the first sustainable natural fiber with the potential to revolutionize the textile industry.

From the farms where the flax is grown to the mills where it’s spun into yarn, CRAiLAR Flax Fiber drastically reduces chemical and water usage. In fact, CRAiLAR was designated as a 100% BioPreferred® product by the USDA in April 2012. That clean record from dirt to shirt concludes with fabrics that are indistinguishable from cotton, while helping to prevent a cycle of environmental harm.

From this……

blog flax

to this….

blog linens

                                                                                                                                                                     but more sustainably.

I won’t look at a formally set table in the same way again after learning about this new technology, how about you?

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December 15th, 2014

If you’re from the British Isles, you take ‘the lift’ when you want to ascend to an upper floor in a building.  There’s now tech that will make your travel in an elevator a bit more unusual -

 “So what exactly makes the design so special? First, it can travel sideways as well as up and down, making it ideal for building designs such as Google’s under-construction “groundscraper” in London, which, as its nickname sort of suggests, is longer than it is tall.”


New Magnetic


Sideways Elevator


Watch the video announcement from the system’s designer:  ThyssenKrupp


Otis Elevators, founded by Elisha Otis, is still the world’s largest producers of vertical transport systems. We’re still largely using cable systems to hoist elevator cabs up and down between floors, as we did in the early 1800s. And as urbanization stretches cities taller and wider, this will have to change.”

There’s a batch of articles on the subject – it’s being tested in Germany at present.

Read more:

If they install this on any campuses, wouldn’t this be a cool way to get to that class you’re always late for???

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