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Cloth from bark offers renewable alternatives

September 10th, 2013 / By: / EcoNote

BARKTEX shoeBARKTEX® by Bark Cloth Ltd. is a contemporary take on traditional bark cloth, which is produced from the Ugandan Figus tree. Once the bark is stripped form the tree, new bark grows in its place, making it a truly sustainable product. BARKTEX can be treated with bright colors to create a unique material that resembles leather and is appropriate for a variety of applications and markets, including architecture and interior wall coverings and upholstery, particularly in the commercial sector. Garment, fashion accessories and footwear markets are smaller but growing rapidly, according to the company.

Nano and duomer/polymer finishes or composites with bacterium-cellulose or fungi as backing substrate will increase market chances for rough use and open mass markets as a substitute for leather and petroleum-based materials. Future products may include casings for electric appliances, and components in car interior trims or plane interiors.

The company was recently named a Top 10 Innovator by Launch 2020, a global initiative to identify and support work that is poised to contribute to a sustainable future and accelerate solutions. NASA, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The U.S. Department of State, and NIKE joined together to form LAUNCH in early 2010 in an effort to identify, showcase and support innovative approaches to global challenges through a series of forums.

www.launch.org