Development of Apparel and Footwear From Renewable Sources (Phase II)

EPA Grant Number: SU836007
Title: Development of Apparel and Footwear From Renewable Sources (Phase II)
Investigators: Cao, Huantian , Bonanno, Paula , Dan, Quan , Kramer, Jillian , Lipschitz, Stacey , Wool, R. P.
Institution: University of Delaware
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: II
Project Period: August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2013
Project Amount: $74,999
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2011) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Materials & Chemicals , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The major objective is to replace 150 billion lbs of toxic waste generated by the leather and related textiles industries via a replacement with eco-leather derived from renewable resources such as soyoil, natural fibers and chicken feathers. In Phase II, we will continue to develop resins, resin-coated textile fabrics and composites from renewable sources such as plant oils and wastes such as chicken feather, and use these materials to develop more apparel and footwear with different design and style. Same as Phase I, we choose female college students as the target users for our design. Our objectives include: (a) developing and evaluating bio-based materials, i.e., thermosetting polymer resins, resin-coated textile fabrics, polyurethane foams, and chicken feather composites, for apparel and footwear products; (b) designing and producing garments and shoes with different styles using bio-based materials; (c) evaluating the comfort, consumers’ acceptance, and cost of our design and product; (d) evaluating the lifecycle environmental impacts of the materials we developed, and (e) revising the design based on evaluation results and developing educational tool.


The project is an interdisciplinary collaboration between faculty and students in the Department of Chemical Engineering (CHEG) and the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies (FASH). Students in the ACRES (Affordable Composites from Renewable Sources) group in CHEG will develop thermoset resins, composites, and foams from plant oils and chicken feather. ACRES students will also coat bio-based resins on different textile substrates that will be used as leather substitute. Students in FASH will use these materials from renewable sources to design and develop apparel, footwear, and other products. Mechanical properties of these bio-based materials will be evaluated in accordance with ASTM standards. Human subject wear tests and surveys will be used to evaluate the product comfort, and consumer acceptance of our products.

Expected Results:

At the end of this project, we will have the demonstration package including samples of all the bio-based renewable materials used in the design, the apparel and footwear prototypes, and the evaluation results. This project will be integrated into required textiles course for both Fashion Merchandising and Apparel Design majors, as a case study unit. We will display our project at department, university, community and national levels. We will also submit a conference abstract and a journal manuscript for national dissemination.

Supplemental Keywords:

environmentally benign substitute, bio-based feedstock, textile, toxic use reduction,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2012
  • Final

  • P3 Phase I:

    Development of Apparel and Footwear From Renewable Sources  | Final Report