Shrimp and Mushroom Food Waste Comes to the New York Fashion Week Catwalk 2023

As a designer who’s in demand among celebrities, Peter Do is no less attentive to the issues of our time. During the presentation of his spring-summer 2023 collection, the designer showcased two looks made using shrimp and mushroom food waste. A first that shows how waste is now an integral part of the fashion industry’s future.

It’s official, there’s nothing trashy about waste. In fact, now considered a raw material of choice, waste has even become essential in helping the most polluting industries to reinvent themselves and reduce their environmental footprint. Making something new out of something old — or even unwanted — is the new trend in the fashion industry, which sees upcycling as an efficient and sustainable alternative to manufacturing without causing (too) much damage to the planet. And the idea seems to be taking hold. So much so that waste has now been gracing the catwalks of the highly exclusive fashion week.

In New York, at the height of the city’s fashion week, the designer Peter Do presented two looks, each consisting of a tank top and loose pants, made from a material that, from afar, looks not dissimilar to patent leather. But it’s not leather at all. It is, in fact, an innovative textile made by TômTex — a start-up specializing in bio-based materials — that’s billed as a plastic-free and 100% naturally biodegradable alternative to synthetic and animal leathers. It’s a fabric that could be described as “green,” in other words, and which was developed from shrimp and mushroom food waste.

This is the first time that a world-renowned designer has customized and embellished the bio-based material made by the TômTex startup, founded by Uyen Tran. Specifically, the two looks were created from shrimp shells and mushroom waste originally destined for landfill. As such, it offers a good way to reduce food waste, while minimizing the use of new raw materials. This is a practice that is continuing to develop in the fashion industry, and could even become the norm in the years to come.

“We are so proud of this collaboration and can not wait for more to come. We are passionate about constructing materials in collaboration with nature. And, we believe today’s waste are tomorrow’s raw materials,” the start-up said on Instagram.

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