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Walmart is rolling out a new, sci-fi-sounding product made of a shocking material: '[The idea is] compelling to us'

While the science has already proven to be successful, this will be the first time it is tested on a larger scale.

Walmart is rolling out a new, sci-fi-sounding product, Rubi Laboratories

Photo Credit: iStock

Walmart is now part of a remarkable new program that turns air pollution into clothing. 

The project will see Rubi Laboratories, a California-based startup, capture carbon dioxide gases created in Walmart supply-chain factories, then turn it into yarn to use in a brand-new clothing line. 

It sounds like something out of science fiction, but a joint statement from the companies revealed their goal of developing a prototype apparel collection, with Bloomberg noting that the pilot project is set to run until the end of 2024. Rubi Laboratories (@rubi_earth) also tweeted about the partnership.

The process captures and converts carbon gas into cellulose, which is then spun to create fabric. According to the statement, the final products will be carbon-negative clothes, and the material could also be used in other products. 

Speaking to Bloomberg, Walmart's executive vice president of sourcing Andrea Albright said the goal was to "find a greener way to manufacture apparel."

"If we can pull CO2 out of the atmosphere and put it into a raw material in a way that doesn't cause an abundance of electricity usage or other implications, that's compelling to us," she added.

While the science has already proved successful, it has not yet been tested on a larger scale. But the technology, which Rubi Laboratories has tweeted about, is certainly an exciting way to prevent carbon from escaping into the atmosphere and use it for something essential in day-to-day life.

"At Rubi, our goal is to ensure a thriving future by restoring Earth's ecological balance with reimagined supply chains," Rubi Labs CEO and co-founder Neeka Mashouf said in the statement

In a video on Walmart's website that also featured co-founder Leila Mashouf, Neeka described how the fashion industry is responsible for cutting down over 100 million trees a year to make materials for clothing, making it one of the world's key drivers of deforestation. 

"One of the biggest reasons we started Rubi is to enable a planet-positive future for manufacturing," Leila Mashouf said in the video. 

Walmart has already set some climate-related goals, with the brand hoping to achieve 100% renewable power by 2035 and to release zero carbon pollution from its global operations by 2040. 

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