Australian surf brand Piping Hot wants to replace polyester with textiles made from algae

The surfer brand Piping Hot is researching a sustainable textile fiber made from algae with climate scientists from the Technical University of Sydney.

The scientists have been developing the prototype of an algae fiber since February. The goal is to develop a fiber that can replace polyester and can be used without the admixture of other fibers.

Seaweed has potential as a raw material for textiles because it can sequester carbon from the oceans, unlike polyester derived from petroleum. Polyester textiles also endanger the oceans with microplastics.

“Together, we aim to influence ocean science change and shift the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels,” CEO Stan Wan said in a statement last week.

Piping Hot hopes to develop a scalable solution, the brand said when asked. The development of the prototype should also make it clearer how much investment is required and how quickly a possible market launch can take place.

Founded in 1975, Piping Hot offers surf apparel, shoes and accessories for the whole family.