Suzanne Lee : Biocouture



Biocouture is building an open source ‘bioneer’ community of material innovators to catalyze an explosion of product development in this area.


There is increasing demand for compostable materials that can be produced with minimal raw materials, toxins and water, however there is currently no home for all the research, experiments, projects, and inspiration around ‘grown materials’ to meet this need. Without such a platform, innovators will continue to work at small scale, and potentially world-changing innovations will remain hidden to the global community.


There is a burgeoning global movement of makers and innovators who want to ‘hack’ materials in the same way we’ve seen open source software and hardware. Biocouture is building an open innovation resource to enable collaboration within the global biological materials community in order to rapidly advance innovations never previously imagined. Starting with microbial cellulose, which can be grown in a bucket and used to create a wide variety of biodegradable homewares and fashion accessories, Biocouture will provide recipes, method, documentation and educational tools to enable widespread use and knowledge sharing globally. The big idea is to precipitate the development of many different products according to local innovation and need.

“Microbial cellulose is a fascinating material. From one hugely efficient, single production method, at least three direct products can be obtained: a health drink, a foodstuff and potentially a ‘vegetable’ material. In a process that takes about ten days, the material can be harvested by simply lifting it off the liquid.” – Suzanne Lee, Founder of Biocouture

Stage of Innovation: Concept


Biocouture envisions future manufacturing systems inevitably consisting of biodesigned living organisms, forming engineered materials directly into finished, biodegradable products, and is focused on that goal.

“Biocouture started as an academic research project, the result of a conversation I had with a biologist while researching my book. My original question was ‘How else can we create materials for a sustainable future?” – Suzanne Lee, Founder of Biocouture