Authenticae now tests biomaterials too!
We’re so excited that our biodegradability and ecotoxicity tests can be done with biomaterials and leather alternatives. Our world is ever-changing, and new materials are being created to respond to the needs of today, helping to protect tomorrow. Authenticae's passion is in materials that are truly circular. We believe that bio-circular is available to natural materials and biomaterials. Imagine a world where our fashion is compostable, returning to nature and helping to grow resources and beauty for the next generation.
What are biomaterials?
Biomaterials come in a range of shapes and sizes. We already know and love many of them as natural materials - cotton, hemp ,wool, and silk are a few. Others are new and exciting, and include material from exotic sources like mushroom, fruit, and leaves.
What can we test?
We’ve designed out suite of tests to answer the fundamental questions around biodegradability. We can get quite geeky about it, so we love it when people ask us questions.
Will it break down in compost? – This is what ISO20200 tests for.
Can you prove the microbes are actually eating it? – This is what ISO20136 is for.
What does it do to plants? – Our Plant Response Tests show exactly whether it feeds or hurts plant life.
Does it have or make ecotoxins? – Our Ecotox Screen is fairly robust and looks for a range of known ecotoxins.
Can I say it’s Certified Compostable? – We have a special of tests specifically to allow you do to this.
Pathways for your material.
Quick Screen Testing
If you are looking for a low-cost screening process to tell you which samples are likely to be compostable, this test allows you to identify which of your materials are good candidates for compostability certification. A rapid 20-day test allows you to get a result within a month to then choose which materials are best suited for focussing on (marketing and further testing).
ISO20200 is a lab-scale industrial composting simulation that determines the degree of disintegration in a composting environment and shows how well your leather or biomaterial breaks down when it is composted. By incubating the material in a synthetic compost mixture we observe your samples for a minimum of three months and provide you with robust data on how well your leather or biomaterial breaks down when it is composted.
The EcoToxicity test looks at how safe your leather or biomaterial is to the ecosystem, when it biodegrades and whether there are any chemicals of concern present. The test measures 200+ components quantitatively including (but not limited to): Metals, Volatile Organics, Phenols, Chlorinated Hydrocarbons, Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Nitrogen and other pesticides.
Our Plant Response testing evaluates how plants grow and respond to being grown in compost with your biodegraded leather or biomaterial. We can help you understand whether the material enriches the soil or not.
ISO20136 is a leather specific method which looks to determine biodegradability by using micro organisms. With this technique your leather or alternative material is put in a"soup"with bacteria. We then measure exactly how much CO2 is produced using infrared equipment that is accurate to 1ppm. The more CO2 produced, the more biodegradable your material is.
Biomaterials are on the rise as a replacement for fossil-based products. Produced from renewable biomass sources, these materials can offer a route for carbon sequestration – delaying radiative forcing and offsetting current emission until their end of life.
Biomaterials can improve circularity; composed of building blocks containing biogenic carbon, they can replace many fossil-based materials when producing more sustainable everyday products. Biomaterials can also offer alternative options such as biodegradability (determined by our ISO 20136 test) and compostability (verified by ISO 20200) at end-of-life.
When these materials break down, they can release minimal toxins (validated by the EcoToxicity test), making them safe for our ecosystems. The resulting compost can be applied to promote plant growth (confirmed using our Plant Response test), thereby enhancing plant CO2 absorption and helping fully close the loop.