AlgiKnit is the New York-based biomaterials research group that researches biomaterials derived from kelp, a rapidly reproducing organism that is readily and abundantly available. The team creates their material using a biopolymer derived from kelp and then transforms it into bioyarn through an extrusion process. This process allows the creation of a monofilament comparable to a traditional yarn, which is then able to be knitted.
They have developed a compostable yarn from kelp which can be knit into zero-waste, fully-fashioned garments or transformed into a textile for applications in footwear. AlgiKnit was developed from the winning concept presented at the first Biodesign Challenge in 2016. The FIT team competed against renowned science institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and Carnegie Mellon University to name a few. The students were challenged to come up with innovative biological design ideas that could have a positive impact on the planet.