Anke Domaske is hoping to transform the textile industry with clothes that are make from milk.
The fabric called qmilch looks and feels like silk.
Domaske says it fills in a gap in the textiles market, which struggles with the falling supply and the rising cost of raw materials.
"Milk is a natural resource so why not make a natural fiber from it. I started experimenting, we started out in the kitchen, it is almost like baking," she says.
Milk fabric has been around since the 1930s, but the process involved chemicals. The company says qMilch doesn't, and requires much less water than natural fibers do.
"To make 1 kg of cotton it takes 20 thousand liters of water, it is tremendous. Our process only uses two liters of water, much less than producing cotton," says Domaske.
It work like this. A local dairy takes leftover milk, lets it ferment to a lumpy cheese consistency, then turns it into powder. The milk powder, which looks a bit like the protein powder that bodybuilders use, is then mixed with a secret recipe of natural ingredients. Within minutes it is spun into a yarn to make the finished product.
Qmilch is wearing well with the fashion crowd.
"It is extraordinary. I didn't know you could do that out of milk," says shopper Marion Tholen-Horu.
"I like the thinking that is is made out of milk and the designer told me it does not produce any waste," says another shopper, Sabrina Micheli.
But is the price right?
Qmilch costs around 30 dollars per kilo to produce. The average cost of producing cotton yarn is 3.8 dollars per kilo.
But they are marketing qmilch as a luxury fiber, like silk, and say that while commodity prices fluctuate depending on the markets and the weather, the cost of qmilch is expected to be more stable, mainly because it is produced from waste. The textile industry is starting to pay attention, and the business is growing.
"We are just ordering machines for producing 1,000 tons per year. Still a pilot plan but still very exciting. It is scaling up from producing 2kg per hour to 120kg per hour," says Domaske.
On the drawing board are expansion plans. Domaske claims the material is non-allergic and says there is keen interest from makers of hospital and hotel bedding, plus car upholstery firms.
Churning up the textiles industry with an innovative, sustainable fabric could well change the future for the fashion business.