You’ve probably heard of kombucha tea — that bubbly, fermented, sorta vingeary drink lining the shelves of your health food store. But did you know it can make clothes?

If you’re science-loving fashion designer Suzanne Lee, you know. She coaxes the bacteria in the drink to expel a material for designing clothes.

How? "Tea, sugar, a few microbes and a little time," she says in her talk at TED2011. “I’m essentially using a kombucha recipe,” she says, “which is a symbiotic mix of bacteria, yeasts and other micro-organisms, which spin cellulose in a fermentation process. Over time, these tiny threads form in the liquid into layers and produce a mat on the surface.” Watch the whole talk here»

Above, some of Suzanne’s creations made from her kombucha-based material as part of the BioCouture research project.

And for a super cool complement to this talk, check out this talk from TEDxVienna about fabric … you spray on.

(All photos Suzanne Lee & BioCouture)

Ideas worth spreading & mugs worth filling: We can’t get enough of this video of TEDxJeddah's super cool event swag — a seemingly regular coffee mug that transforms when filled with hot liquid, a.k.a. the TEDx version of Clark Kent in a phone booth.

Fitting in with the event’s theme,  iجدة_الحلم #عندي_فكرة — or in English — “The idea; the dream,” the mug visualizes ideas being put into the world, showing that a good idea, dream, or brainstorm has great potential to create change (with style). Check it out!

TEDxJeddah is just one of the many TEDx events sending good ideas out into the universe. To learn more about TEDx events (and find one near you to attend) visit our website.