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Artists Prove You Can Do Anything With Beer By Making It Into A Dress

I am fully aware that you saw the headline, looked at the date, and assumed this was a gag. But it’s real. In fact, this is a dress built with an increasingly common technology that’s been the topic of scientific discussion for a while.

To start with, it’s actually made out of beer waste, although its creators obviously went for the more attention-getting statement. The material is microbial cellulose, something we’ve known about since the late 19th century, and it’s pretty straightforward. Get some sugars, add some bugs known as Gluconacetobacter xylinus, and watch it build. We actually use this stuff already for medical purposes, and it’s what gives nata de coco its chewy texture.

You don’t often see it outside of medicinal use because it’s expensive compared to plant cellulose. Beer waste, though, cuts down on the cost, as it provides the perfect base for growing this material, and it’s cheaper than building a custom slurry. Besides, it’s not like the brewery’s going to use it for anything.

Of course, to mass produce this eco-friendly and unique material, that would require us to drink more beer as a species. It’s a hard sacrifice for fashion, I know, but I’m willing to selflessly dedicate myself to the cause.

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