Saturday, April 07, 2007

Soy Wearable!

While Guillermo and I were enjoying afternoon tea at a cute but obscure little place along Pasaje del Correo, he asked me if I knew of soya oil. Apparently it is a significant Argentine export to its major buyer - China. I've a vague idea that it is for industrial use and commercial-scale food production; I could be completely off the mark but it prompted me to think more about what this amazing little bean could do...

That was how I stumbled upon soy fibre. According to the website of a clothing line named Baby Soy, Henry Ford of Ford Motor first talked of soy fibre in the 1940s and was photographed wearing the first known soy suit and tie. Technological breakthrough in 1999 made mass production of soy fibre realistic and economically sound. The invention of soy textile was awarded the gold prize by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2003.

Soy fibre is manufactured from extracting the proteins from leftover dregs from soya oil/ tofu/ soy milk production, turning waste into useful products. The resulting textile is sustainable, utilising renewable natural resources.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, soy textile has the same warmth retention as wool and better moisture transmission than cotton, making it very comfortable to wear. Thus, ideal for baby clothing as it keeps babies warm and dry. It is also soft, smooth, and light; with silky lustre and a cashmere cotton prices!

While Argentina is a major producer and exporter of soya, most are sold in the form of primary products. This soy clothing retailer I have found is a company based in California.
If there is an entrepreneur out there who would import the cutting-edge manufacturing technology to Argentina, who knows, maybe a new page in our economy could be written...

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