Biomimicry Project Possibilities: How One Woman is Prototyping the Way to Nature Based Solutions and Cellulose-Based Fibre Production

Interview of Learn Biomimicry’s most recent Biomimicry Practitioner, Annelien Eyskens.

In our world surrounded by sustainability challenges, there is an urgent need for innovative solutions. Though often overlooked by all of us (including me at times), one promising approach is asking nature itself. This process, titled biomimicry, involves mimicking the strategies and designs found in nature and applying it to challenges such as the textile industry.. 

Annelien Eyskens, a student of medical engineering and now a Biomimicry Practitioner, has been actively exploring the possibilities of biomimicry. In her project, Annelien developed Papierpassé™ fiber, inspired by the Chinese paper wasp nest, as a potential replacement for conventional cotton in tote bag production. 


Papierpassé™ potentially offers several advantages, including strength, water resistance, and biodegradability. It also utilizes student waste, creating a closed-loop system. Hello, circularity! While Papierpassé™ is still conceptual, it aligns with the efforts of inspiring companies such as SPINNOVA®, Ioncell Oy, and Infinited Fiber Company in cellulose-based fiber production, which is a crucial step towards a more sustainable future.

Annelien’s project highlights the potential of biomimicry in developing nature-based solutions for various industries. It also emphasizes the importance of collaboration, as biomimicry thinking often requires a diverse team with varied expertise. While a working prototype is still needed, she’s hopeful that the Papierpassé™ recipe can inspire new solutions.

While Annelien was working on her project, she interned at Novobiom … our biomimicry business crush! Novobiom is unlocking the power of fungi to revolutionize waste management. Lastly, she assists the stellar Biomimicry Switzerland with their socials too… another leader in this space.

Due to her experiences in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Stockholm, she is incredibly open-minded and smart well beyond her years. Never scared of a challenge and to ask the hard questions, she’s got the right attitude to bring innovations that solve complex challenges, connect people and value nature. 

Anneliens' project demonstrates what a young and passionate woman can do with the right approach, and how biomimicry is a multi-disaplinary tool for creating innovative and sustainable solutions. By mimicking the strategies of nature, we can develop new materials and technologies that address the challenges of our time. 

This project is not a drop in the ocean, but rather an ocean of nature-inspired solutions in just one drop. With individuals like Annelien, the future looks bright for biomimics.

Wild regards
Alistair Daynes, Biomimicry Practitioner


About Annelien

PS - As Annelien continues her journey as a Biomimicry Practitioner, she is eager to learn and collaborate with others. If you are interested in nature-based solutions or cellulose-derived textiles, Annelien invites you to connect with her here.



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