regrow (winner of reshape 2018)

I've been always hypnotized by different materials and 4 years ago I saw that people started to use Leather made from Kombucha and I couldn't believe as it was the Чайный Гриб - "Tea Mushroom" that I would drink all my childhood in Siberia and I started to have small pieces of Kombucha leather, but it was not enough to make a garment and thanks to Reshape competition that we started to work on this spring, Vivien Roussel grew a big piece of 2x2m and I was able to design and make two garments for the Regrow project ( with some struggling of course as it's not the most convenient material to work with and it has it's own character as it's 'alive'). 
So here the 'Reshaping' happened from Tea Mushroom from my childhood to Kombucha drink in Europe, from Kombucha leather and from Kombucha garment to potential Medical Kombucha gauze.



Design is an agent for values and vision. reGROW is an exploration in sustainability, local-manufacturing and the intelligent use of a living organism - kombucha. Kombucha , a bacterial cellulose, is one of the most promising natural, renewable polymers for biomedical applications. reGROW utilizes the simple and rapid cultivation of kombucha, common maker tools, reuse of waste grape crops and open source philosophies to deliver an intelligent biomedical gown that can assist in the rehabilitation of patients with a selection of skin injuries and ailments.    

The reGROW project involves a multidisciplinary, international team in the investigation of bacterial cellulose potential as an assistive and reactive fabric with use-specific applications. The water retention and moisturising properties make the material an ideal candidate to combine both burn treatment and the delivery of encapsulated active compounds onto damaged skin. reGROW is a smart, yet fashionable, scalable and easy-to-produce medical gown.

reGROW opens up two main tracks of future development: finely-tuned, personalised drug delivery and on-demand, easily producible skin treating gauze for remote areas and provides an  option in biomedical treatments for local communities around the globe.

And for now here is a small presentation video:

Our great team that made this project come true: 

○ Surzhana Radnaeva - fashion designer and fashion photographer
○ Vivien Roussel - kombucha expert/maker
○ Benjamin Denjean - ecosystem designer
○ Adrien Rigobello - project manager
○ Tim Leeson - designer
○ Dr Robert Pott - collaborating researcher
○ Model - Valeria Gelardi


Hand-stitched squared kombucha top

For this top I used dry Kombucha material, cut into many squares and hand-stitched on 4 corners. I would say its a shell-like form that follows the body shape and movements.

Meanwhile I started working on new projects with biomaterials (and not only) and if you are a biomaterial-maker or have any interesting ideas to discuss, don’t hesitate to contact me through my email: