Spinning Straw into Gold

Rumpelstiltskin managed it, while not quite alchemists, at The Formary we have been working on a solution for the vast amount of straw resulting from rice production, one of the worlds largest food crops.
With the world’s population predicted to swell by another two billion in the next forty years, it is anticipated that farmers will need to grow fifty percent more food to meet population demand. Our concept of creating a range of fabrics as a bi-product of food crops reduces reliance on crops grown for their fibre alone, freeing up precious arable land for food production. This increases the value of the crop as well as the productivity of the land.
China produces approximately two hundred million tonnes of rice per year resulting in vast amounts of waste rice straw from the harvest. Burning of the unused straw not only affects air quality in China but also impacts on individual health and wellbeing.
The Formary’s solution of converting the waste straw into textiles by blending straw with wool has created a hardwearing and beautiful fabric that provides a valuable solution to a key waste stream within China.

This month we presented our Rice Straw Fabric to The Chinese Government with target commercialisation of this solution at the next rice harvest in October.