This Isn't BS: "Manure Couture" Could Be The Future Of Sustainable Fabric

Brilliance | Dec. 13, 2017

If you're a fan of sustainable fashion, then you've probably heard of fabric made from hemp, bamboo, or even recycled water bottles. Well, there's a new material entering the eco-friendly scene: cow manure. Dutch artist and entrepreneur Jalila Essaïdi is making waves in fast fashion with her "manure couture" clothing line, Mestic. It could make a big impact, both on the runway and in the environment.

This Sh*t Don't Stink

Obviously, cow poop isn't the most glamorous source for a clothing line. So why did Essaïdi choose it? According to a press release, "Essaïdi is a designer and entrepreneur, but first and foremost she is a pioneer looking for innovative solutions to big social challenges." That is to say, the artist saw fabric as the answer to a grander question: what do we do about the manure problem? Cow manure releases copious amounts of phosphate and nitrogen into the environment, which harms soil, water, and air alike. Transforming it into renewable fabric could make a huge impact.

On her website, Essaïdi elaborates that "even the most disgusting matter is inherently beautiful." Nothing in nature is waste (even literal waste). Mestic's sustainable bioplastic is made from separating the dry manure, which is rich in cellulose, from the acidic wet manure. Then, the wet manure's acids are added back to the pure cellulose to form fabric. We know what you're thinking, and no—the clothes don't stink.

Poop For The Planet

In April 2017, Essaïdi received the Global Change Award from H&M for contributing to 'circular fashion' and protecting our planet. According to Yahoo, the recognition came with a "$160,000 grant and access to a one-year innovation accelerator." With this help, Essaïdi hopes to persuade the fashion industry to accept cow poop as a valuable resource. "I just want people to give a sh*t about the planet," she tells Vogue U.K. We concur.

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