Inspirational appetizers on unusual startups, emerging trends and bleeding-edge research

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Incremental development

New beaches are being made from old glass bottles, while egg shells morph into tiles for home. Now an LA startup is using recycled plastic to create houses with up to 80㎡ of living space. Polymers, 60% of which come from plastic bottles and food packaging, are processed to form a mass which is 3D-printed into a simple shape....

Natural spin

Willow- and banana plant fibres are already making their way in the fashion industry. Now, a Dutch startup is using some of the 72 million kilograms of human hair waste produced in the EU each year to make textiles. First, hair collected from salons is sorted and washed. Next it’s spun into yarn on traditional spinning wheels from which...

Realised reduction

Biodegradable jeans decompose fully within 6 months. And now, two parents from Oregon have developed baby shoes that dissolve in boiling water. Like these founders before them, their startup aims to reduce textile waste. The soft shoes are suitable for babies up to 1 year old, and are made from silk fabric coated with biodegradable plastic. Sturdy and machine-washable...

Beat it!

A simple phone call can improve our mood. AI mixes music for the jukebox. Now, thanks to the new app of an Icelandic startup, music lovers have the ability to produce their own tracks. A user-friendly interface allows beats and recorded vocals to be arranged at the touch of a button. These sequences can be automatically looped - that...

Beneficial cover

Cocoa plants aren’t just used to make chocolate and buildings become more flexible. Now, an international research team has developed a design concept from which humans, animals, plants and organisms such as microbes could all benefit. The idea is to cover houses in several layers. Each of them is tailored to the needs of the organisms within. Humans, for...

Open service

Companies can diversify their teams using IT. Now, a Canadian startup has developed an operating system for charging stations based on an open standard. The aim is to allow different types of electric vehicles to be charged at as many sites as possible. Charging stations, whether on hotel, company or residential grounds, are connected to a platform, which balances...

Team Balance

Team spirit can be strengthened through volunteer work. A company’s attitude to sustainability is increasingly important for prospective employees. Now, using a platform created by an American startup, small- and medium-sized companies can analyse their carbon footprint with a view to making improvements. First, accounting data is uploaded. This gives information on purchases, expenditures and other transactions. Using additional...

Cultivated qualification

Hemp can be a culinary delight and peas consumed as drink. A startup from Hamburg has recently walked away with a PETA award for its egg-substitute from protein-rich, high-fibre sweet lupins. With its egg-like taste and structure, the liquid product innovation qualified for both sweet and hearty fare. Alongside water and sweet lupin flour, the product is made up...

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