Fashion Made: Clothing Designers have certainly found some Creative Ways to make sustainable Fashion in recent years like spinning graduation gowns out of recycled bottles or making shoes out of illegal fishing nets. But a fabric that recently received a Global Change Award from fashion mega-retailer H&M might just take the cake: it’s made out of cow manure.
Jamie Feldman at the Huffington Post reports that Dutch artist and entrepreneur Jalila Essaidi, who specializes in bio-based materials, was one of five fashion innovators who received the award, meant to encourage “game-changing ideas that can help reinvent the entire industry.”
Essaidi calls her pre-digested fabric Mestic. According to her website, she was inspired to create the bio-fabric in 2016, after learning that Dutch dairy cows were exceeding sustainable limits of phosphate production. According to a video, after Essaidi and her team take manure from farmers, they separate the dry manure from the wet manure. The clean cellulose is extracted from the dry and chemicals that can break down the cellulose from the wet.
That is then processed into a cardboard-like material. Another acid from the manure is added which turns the mix into something similar to a liquid plastic that can be processed into plastics or textile fibers. The Global Challenge Award was established by the H&M Foundation in 2015 as part of its efforts to ramp up sustainability in the clothing industry. Last year the brand announced an initiative to sell only 100 percent recycled or sustainably sourced clothing by 2030, though there’s no word on how much, if any, of that will be manure-based.