Zuzana Gombosova

Zuzana is a material researcher and designer from Slovakia. She is a graduate from MA Material Futures at Central Saint Martin's College of Arts and Design.<br />

Susmith C S

Susmith is a product designer and maker from Kerala. He is a graduate of MDes Product design & Manufacturing at IISc Bangalore and has a background in mechanical engineering.

They met in Mumbai in 2015, by which time Zuzana had already been working for over three years on bacterial cellulose as a material.  She was keen to explore the potential in India for employing a traditional bacterial-cellulose growth process used in the Philippines, where ‘Nata de Coco’ (the Filipino version of this substance) is an important part of the food industry.


The name of Susmith’s home region can be literally translated as ‘the land of coconuts’, which given the circumstances, was a good sign!


Having started experimenting with growing materials on a small scale, before long Zuzana and Susmith discovered they shared more profound values, a passion for craft and making as well as a concern for sustainability and the environment. Oh, also, not only do they both love a good coconut but they are firm believers in coconut karma whereby people who behave badly will one day have a well-deserved coconut fall on their heads as punishment!

In 2017 we moved to a coconut-cultivating region in Southern India and began working full-time to develop Malai and to consider in what context this new material could be applied.  We chose to target it towards the sustainable fashion market, because of its aesthetic appeal and with a view that fashion is the second most polluting industry, beaten only by oil.

Our studio & manufacturing unit are currently based in Cherthala, Kerala.