This designer is creating fabric from manure

A Dutch artist has created a way to use cow manure productively, reducing the harmful effects of excess phosphate and nitrogen in the environment.

Eindhoven-based designer Jalila Essaïdi is out to prove that fabric made from manure could be the next big bio-textile.

Manure contains phosphate and nitrogen, which are beneficial for agriculture if used in the right proportions. Unfortunately, the beef and dairy sector produces a surplus of manure and this results in too much phosphate and nitrogen, which can be harmful to soil, water and air.

In a project she named Mestic, Essaïdi is aiming to generate new sustainable raw materials for use by the manufacturing industry, thereby inspiring a new industry and the development of innovative technologies. Watch the video below.

According to Essaïdi, the materials are biodegradable and perform in much the same way as plastic derived from fossil fuels. The degradability can also be altered in the lab, creating materials that last for different periods of time depending on their end use.

The overarching goal of this solution for excess manure is to create a circular economy for cow manure, therefore allowing the agricultural sector to adhere to (inter)national environmental policies, while still making it possible to keep their investment (cows) and grow.

Essaïdi is planning to increase Mestic production and start manufacturing bio-products on a larger scale. She also hopes to use the material to build a bridge in her home city of Eindhoven.

Image credit: Jalila Essaïdi