That memorable question, “Got milk?” takes on a whole new meaning in today’s technological marketplace. That’s because the Los Angeles-based startup Mi Terro is making the Limitless Milk Shirt, a T-shirt out of the white stuff. The motivation is sustainability. Each year, 128 million tons of milk are dumped as waste worldwide. Mi Terro’s goal is to keep that milk out of the waste stream.
The company has developed a process to extract a protein from milk that can be turned into a fiber. It works like this: Mi Terro takes milk that would have been discarded, ferments it and skims it to remove fat. Then it is dewatered, turning it into a powder. Next the substance is purified, which removes all elements other than a protein called casein. This protein is immersed in alkali to produce a solution that is passed through a spinneret to create fibers that can be stretched and spun into yarn to create a textile for the shirts.
The fiber creates a silk-like fabric that is three times softer than cotton. In addition, the T-shirts contain 18 amino acids that nourish the skin. They’re also antibacterial, UV-blocking, odor-resistant and moisture-wicking. Made for women and men, the shirts are machine washable and wrinkle-resistant. For more information, visit www.miterro.com.