STRANO MICROFACTORY

Bio-leather made from algae and cabbage by STRANO

Today we’re talking to STRANO, a sustainable Microfactory and a biomaterial supplier based in Barcelona. 

We connected with the founder Lucrecia on the gram and found her take on biomaterials not only refreshing but very much in line with the thinking Re:mtr stands for. 

Using organic waste, Lucrecia is developing an ongoing series of materials which she claims are a “sustainable alternative today and a necessity for tomorrow.”

“Can you imagine how much your mind and the world would change if you questioned your waste?” – Lucrecia Strano

According to Lucrecia Strano, a Piscian fashion designer from Argentina who is currently based in Barcelona: 

“The STRANO Microfactory is a place for the designer, the artist, and for every creative person who chooses a new way to produce and consume, and has the courage to believe in this new path.”

She’s a dreamer and firmly believes in the power that designers have in making a change.

“Our profession is our voice, and this is mine. It arises from my desire to start feeling fresh air in the design profession and trust that we will increasingly be among those who prioritize work that respects the planet.”

 

“Making biomaterials is like playing as freely as possible. It‘s like cooking, we create them with a recipe of 3 to 4 ingredients: one polymer, one binder, one plasticizer and a fourth ingredient if you want to add pigment. I have learned that there are no mistakes in this process, everything that you add more or less can decant into a new biomaterial, so enjoy your journey and make it as sustainable as you can!”

So let’s dive deeper into the materials made by STRANO Microfactory.

What’s the potential there?

“Our biomaterials have huge potential. They can adopt any shape, can be rigid or soft, they can be laser cut and engraved, also sewn and even knit, so imagine how infinite and varied are the possibilities of applications! We only need to open our minds and dare to play with these kinds of alternatives.”

At STRANO,

We aim to be part of the customer’s creative process. We co-design the materials together with the customer, based on their requirements, like color, thickness, texture, flexibility.

In that way, we are also fulfilling another one of our main objectives: “empowering others’ projects. We want to bring our client closer to the possibility of sustainable alternatives,” to share in a belief and a creation towards a better world.”

Now, for some questions from our readers.

Can you sew with it as you would normal fabric?

” Yes, you can sew it and embroider it.”


“I also want to say that when we work with alternative materials we have to open our minds and understand that we can assimilate it with traditional materials such as textiles or plastic, but always contemplating the variants it has as a biomaterial.

What traditional material does the bioplastic behave most like? Is it like leather? Or plastic? How does it compare with traditional leather and/or plastic?

“The biomaterial begins with a recipe, which allows us to be the absolute designers of its characteristics. For example, I can design a vegan leather adding fibers that assimilate it to a non-woven, or I can use the basic recipe adding more plasticide and convert it into a bio paper film as I have done for #Beyondplastic.”

Has this material been used to make a product yet? If so, what is the average life expectancy of the product? How long does it last?

“It is important to say that neither I nor any contemporary designer has invented biomaterials, they are ancient recipes which we invoke again because we decide not ignore the climatic emergency in which we are all immersed.”


“There are many small/medium scale projects, also technology makes the biomaterial able to adapt industrial shapes.For example AlgiKnit, a company based in NYC is creating durable yet rapidly degradable yarns from kelp.”


“The useful life of a biomaterial varies according to its size, its care and its ingredients. I still have intact my first samples from 3 years ago.”

What can I do with the product to extend the life of the material? Will it biodegrade at home?

“Everytime we work with biomaterials we must remember that the rhythms are marked by them.”


“The aim is that they should not remain more than the time of use on earth, which invites us to think – during the design process- in the relationship that exists in object-life time, that should always be the starting point when we are creating something.”

How can I start working with this material? What is the minimum, maximum order quantity? Is it able to ship worldwide?

“I think everything is possible!”


“Microfactory works in two ways, you can order a biomaterial out of curiosity and see how it works, the texture and also serve as a trigger for new ideas.”


“The other option is to design a biomaterial according to your project. The process starts with a meeting where we discuss the material’s characteristics to be functional, like thickness, size, color, texture , once we have it, I get work on it!”


“For any questions, you can write to me at Stranomicrofactory@gmail.com”

How can I be sure that this is really a more sustainable alternative to the traditional plastic that I use?

“I like this question!”


“I think it is really important to question how true is the information world is selling us.”


“Each time you consume you are making a political, socio-economical, active vote to advocate for ecosystems, diversity, farmers, or to continue to uphold a system founded on greed, super-profits, and ill-health for the planet and people.”

– Catherine Euale


“What makes it a sustainable material is”:

  • Origin from renewable sources, (such as algae)
  • No toxic additive
  • Handcraft process
  • Local production

“You can check it by throwing a bioplastic/plastic in a glass with water and wait for them to biodegrade. In fact there is a video of this on my IG. I invite you to see it!”

What more do you want to know about this material?

Get in touch with us to find out!

All images are courtesy of Lucrecia from STRANO Microfactory. We thank her ever so much for sharing her materials and her story with us! Find out more about STRANO by clicking the Instagram icon below.

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