Hagfish are jawless, spineless creatures that live at the bottom of the ocean and eat dead whales. When they are attacked or threatened, they spray predators with a slimy substance, and someday in the not-too-distant future, your clothing might be made out of that lovely slime. Here’s the deal: as of now, most synthetic fabrics such as nylon and spandex are made from oil. As we all know painfully well, oil is not a renewable resource, and at some point we’ll need to find a new way to make our hoodies and slutty yoga pants.
Hagfish slime has a few things going for it as a potential source of fabric: it’s super strong, easily stretched, and when it dries, the texture becomes silky. Hagfish usually grow to be about a foot long, but each one contains hundreds of miles of slime. Cool, huh? Large-scale hagfish farms don’t seem to be feasible, so scientists are currently trying to find a way to recreate the proteins found in hagfish slime in order to manufacture an artificial fabric with similar properties.
In the meantime, don’t be surprised in Marc Jacobs sends a hagfish collection down the runway soon, just to get in on the trend early.