Aradhita Parasrampuria is a Masters student at Parsons School of Design, originally from India, based in New York.
With the goal of establishing a circular system of biodegradable material products, Aradhita creates scientific, eco-friendly, ethical, and affordable textiles to help replace toxic petroleum-based products. She works primarily with organisms such as Kelp, Escherichia coli, and Mycelium. She won the New School Research grant for her thesis project. Her work has been featured in ‘CFDA’, ‘New York Design Week’, and ‘Talking Textiles’.
Through my collection, I have tried to converge bio-chemistry with craft to produce textiles that acknowledge the contemporary realities of resource scarcity, climate change, exploitative labor practices, and, especially, sustainable development.
I am working towards creating a circular design system using kelp, a large brown algae, one of the fastest-growing organisms globally. Additionally, kelp can remediate coastal environments because it also absorbs nutrients from agricultural and sewage waste
The yarn created using this material is flexible, durable, biodegradable, and can be knitted by both hand and machine.
I have dyed the kelp yarn and beads with charcoal, plant and bacterial dyes, and UV-sensitive pigments.
This ecological material has a broad range of applications within the fashion and embellishment industry which I am exploring. For example, kelp yarn can easily be used to create garments and accessories like socks and market bags.
Interestingly, kelp has the ability to contract and expand in its natural habitat- water. The same property enables shapeshifting of form in textiles made using this material. For instance, kelp beads expand to about twice in volume when placed in water and contract back to their regular size when dried. This process is continued throughout the material's life cycle.
My experiments with eco-friendly, antimicrobial kelp beads of varying sizes already demonstrate an excellent replacement for non-biodegradable, petroleum plastic, or synthetic resin beads. Unfortunately, whose use and disposal impose a substantial environmental problem and contribute largely to the micro-plastic issue that the planet is currently facing.
With materials like kelp, a future where the textile and fashion industry operates in a closed-loop product life cycle could potentially become a reality.