Manure is getting the haute couture treatment thanks to Eindhoven-based designer Jalila Essaidi, who has created a bio-textile with cow pooh as its main component.
Part of a project entitled Mestic, the bio-textile is one of several different materials Jalila Essaïdi created from recycled cow dung, including bio-plastics and bio-paper.
Jalila Essaidi’s company, BioArtLab, has patented the method to directly convert animal manure waste into new materials such as bio-textiles, plastic and paper. The designer created the textile as a way of addressing the global manure surplus, which is responsible for excessive amounts of harmful phosphorus and nitrogen in surface and groundwater.
Since cow manure contains cellulose, there is an opportunity to extract raw material from manure into new biodegradable products. Through this process, methane gas production is reduced and contamination of soil and water by phosphate and nitrate is prevented.
Animal manure, according to the designer, could be a valuable resource in fashion and design. She said: “Mestic is all about transforming raw matter into future opportunities. In nature nothing is considered waste. Yet manure, in its essence, is easily considered the most vile substance we know. Mestic shows that even this most disgusting matter is inherently beautiful.
“Mestic generates new sustainable raw materials (bioplastics) that can be used by the manufacturing industry, thereby spurring the settlement of new industry and the development of new innovative technologies in the future.”
Jalila Essaidi is currently working with 15 farmers in Eindhoven to create an industrial-scale manure refinery.
Clothes manufacturers have toldJ alila Essaïdi that they would consider using the cost-efficient Mestic fabric – but would not declare it explicitly on clothing labels.
Image: © Ruud Balk
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea