Fashion

On Mi Terro’s T shirts crafted from discarded milk

Milk has seldom gone missing from the breakfast table, and despite growing concerns with its production, and human consumption of dairy, it continues to hold fort in our diets. Adding an unconventional spin to it, however, is Los Angeles-based eco-fashion start-up, Mi Terro.

Known for their Cork Duffle Suitcase (launched this February), the duo behind the brand — Robert Luo and Eesen Sivapalan — set up their second Kickstarter campaign this August to promote T-shirts crafted from milk. With their latest offering, they aim to do away with the massive amount of waste/residue milk that finds its way into drains across the world.

Adding milk to couture

For their tees and underwear, Sivapalan says they source unused milk from dairy farms in China. After a barrage of processes — including fermentation and dewatering to extract the casein protein — the fibres are stretched and spun into yarn. The entire process, from dairy to the shelf, takes close to two months.

On Mi Terro’s T shirts crafted from discarded milk

While the concept isn’t new to the fashion world (think Madhurima Singh’s Dhuri and Italian brand Duedilatte), what Mi Terro does is draw in traditional manufacturers, based out of China, and use micromodal (a silky fibre spun from beechwood trees) in the manufacturing. “It is the quality and texture of the shirts that give us an edge. Micromodal brings in the ‘stretchiness’ and temperature regulating properties,” says the 25-year-old, who adds that they’ve also partnered with California-based nonprofit, Eden Reforestation Projects, to plants 10 tress for every shirt sold. Mi Terro also aims at empowerment. “The manufacturers in China are paid higher wages to take care of the logistics of sourcing the milk,” adds Sivapalan.

On Mi Terro’s T shirts crafted from discarded milk
Eesen Sivapalan

Courting concerns

The fact that all eyes are now on the ethics of milk production, the company claims that for every five shirts it manufactures, it saves a cup of milk from going to waste. “Around 128 million tonnes of milk are wasted each year. We’re only using a drop of the astronomical number,” he explains. Though Sivapalan doesn’t see it as a valid concern just yet, the possible scarcity of milk is something that he has in mind in the event the venture scales up. “Milk production is not going to stop immediately, but milk is still being dumped. If we can use that as a resource, then why not?”

T-shirts are priced at approximately ₹3,000, and underwear at ₹3,200. The Hindu readers can avail a 25% discount by using the code, thehindu25, on miterro.com.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 2:52:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/mi-terros-recent-experiments-to-t-shirts-from-dairy-protein/article29466804.ece

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