Anke creatively and innovatively implements a zero waste philosophy by producing a natural fibre from recycled milk. It is a genuine alternative to waste that makes it possible to transform discarded milk into a useful product with a low ecological impact.
Anke’s invention is a shining example of the power of upcycling: this young microbiologist has succeeded in developing a natural fibre from milk deemed unfit for consumption. It all started in 2010, when Anke decided to transform her kitchen into a laboratory with a view to making an ecological fibre from milk casein. For although milk fibre has existed since the 1930s, its manufacturing process involved numerous chemicals. For Anke, the challenge was therefore to create a textile that would be 100% ecological across the production chain, from start to finish. Mission accomplished in 2011, when the QMilk fibre was launched! According to the Technical University of Braunschweig, it is currently the fibre with the world’s smallest CO2 footprint and the most sustainable of all fibres.
Over 2 million tonnes of milk discarded every year in Germany
Recycling milk that no longer meets food safety standards thus makes it possible to offset a significant proportion of the CO2 emissions generated by milk production.
What’s more, QMilk is an excellent alternative to natural fibres such as wool and silk, which can no longer meet global demand for textile fibres.
Milk fibre: a product with high added value
Currently, Anke is able to upcycle 1.2 million litres of milk and offset 168,000 kilograms of CO2. These highly promising results deserve to be pursued and developed to provide an organic and sustainable solution to the production challenges of the future.