by Emily Roscoe

Does the Fashion industry, particularly within print and trend, have a place in a more sustainable future?

bacterial pigments

water pollution


multi-process textiles

About the project

With the ever increasing  rise of fast fashion, quick trends and a throw away culture within the fashion and textile industry, water pollution has increased dramatically and is having a large impact on several key areas contributing to the current environmental crisis.


Euphoric is a project researching solutions to decrease the amount of chemicals going into our water as well as our water usage within textile design; while questioning whether the industry as a whole, and specifically seasonal trends and wide varieties of colour and print, have a place in a more sustainable future. This is achieved through designing a textile collection in our current system, and considering the impact of each element through systems thinking.

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Small samples of extracted pigment (S.Marcescens).

Serratia Marcescens and  J.Lividum

With one of the key aspects within the Euphoric trend being a variety of bold, bright colours - I decided to work with the bacteria Serratia Marcescens and J.Lividum, due to their natural ability to produce these tones hues and saturation. I experimented with the optimal growth conditions and extraction processes for each bacteria, as well as its ability to mix with natural dyes created from either extracts or waste.


Small samples of extracted pigment (S.Marcescens).

Collected bacteria (S.Marcescens).

S. Marcescens LB plate

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S. Marcescens peanut plate

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S. Marcescens optimum growth

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Cellulose nanocrystals on top of bacteria pigment (Cotton).

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Print process

Once the pigment was successfully grown and extracted I explored natural binders mixed with varying levels of calcium carbonate and natural pH catalysts to create a variety of colours and opacities to print with. I also explored other print process alternatives; using mycelium to replace chemicals in both devoré and discharge print, and cellulose nanocrystals to replace chemicals in pearlescent and special effect binders and coatings. 

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Screen-prints with bacteria dye onto natural fabrics.

Mycelium grown onto both velvet, and silk - dyed with J.Lividum.

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Initial colours made with S. Marcescens.

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Initial print design from trend research.

Trend: Euphoria S/S 22


Testing the living and natural materials’ abilities to keep up with commercial fashion, following a key trend and aiming to meet the same criteria and standards as current methods were crucial elements to the project.


The ‘Euphoric’ trend offered a perfect opportunity to do this: graphic prints varying in checks and stripes  to ditsy and retro florals, pushing both the saturation of pigments and printing capabilities to capacity. 

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Cottage check screen print with bacteria and natural dyes.


Emily Roscoe

I am a Surface Pattern and Textile designer who largely focuses on the use of colour and trend within design. I originally graduated from Leeds Arts University, where I developed my skills and interests in both synthetic and natural dyes, trend forecasting, and the impact created from the textile industry on our environment.


Over the course of my MA, I have used the new and exciting developments within Biodesign to extend my research and knowledge into  future possibilities, methods and processes intending to provide solutions to help create a more sustainable fashion industry. My work has evolved from a dye lab to a biology lab- combining the two,  to challenge my role and responsibilities as a designer.