Mi Terro, an LA-based sustainable fashion startup, may have found a solution to an environmental problem that is rarely talked about -- dairy waste.

The company that is known for making duffle bags out of corks and ocean plastic added a new product to their green fashion lineup, a t-shirt made with milk.

CEO and co-founder, Robert Luo founded the company in 2018 with a mission of "solving world problems through green fashion," and the "milk shirt" is his company's fashion solution to the environmental hazards of dairy waste. Mi Terro roughly translates to "my earth."

Over 16% of dairy products or about 116 m tons are lost or discarded each year globally, and the impact on the environment is harmful. 

According to the Government of Indiana, unintentional or accidental spills of milk into a waterway can kill fish.

"When milk is released into a stream or lake, it provides a food source for bacteria, which use oxygen in the water to live and grow. Bacteria growth following a significant release or spill will often cause stress, or death, for fish and other aquatic life living in the impacted waterway."

With Luo's upcycled milk shirt, "every five shirts save one glass of milk from being dumped."  

However, the method to turn milk into yarn isn't an easy one. According to Business Insider, the entire process starts from sourcing excess milk from the company's dairy farm partners. Then, the milk is fermented and skimmed. The milk is de-watered to form a powdery substance. Finally, it is dissolved once again to remove unwanted proteins, which leaves fibers that are stretched and spun into yarn.

The fibers are combined with micromodal because if the shirts were made completely from milk, it would drive up the cost making the shirt expensive. This makes the shirt about 15-20% of milk.

The final product offers a breathable and anti-wrinkle free design. The company also promotes the Milk Tee as anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, stretchy, and temperature regulating.

MiTerro launched a kickstarter campaign for $3,000 but got fully funded after only 2 hours. Currently, there are about 354 backers from all around the world who pledged $27,995 collectively.

The milk shirt sells for $59 on their website.