Most people consider cow manure as waste. Jalila Essaidi would disagree. Her company has patented the method to directly convert animal manure waste into new materials such as bio- textiles, plastic and paper. 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. Read on to learn more about this transformation.
1) So, what is Mestic and how do you create it?
With Mestic® we make bio-plastics and fibers from cow manure. We developed a product by dissolving-grade-pulp from cow-manure. This pulp acts as the raw ingredient for cellulose-derivatives like cellulose acetate (bio-plastic) and viscose or similar fibers.
2) Why are you creating Mestic?
Late 2015, Dutch policy makers challenged me to find a solution for the excess cow manure. The enormity of this waste stream is just as big problem in Netherlands as it is worldwide. However, in the Western part of the world cow manure is seen as a waste product. Initially I set out to create vanilla from manure since as an artist I wanted to show that cow manure has this dual nature of being a repulsive yet also beautiful. Still the entrepreneur in me thought that the cellulose available in cow manure was way more interesting. The material which was locked away in this beautiful waste stream had the potential to massively benefit several industries. With my developed method we can now turn this massive waste problem into a sustainable resource for creating valuable products, such as beautiful textiles.
3) How do you see the future of fashion?
Circular and sustainable, without labour abuses, honest to nature and consumers. Transparency is key to ensure that people know where the clothes they wear came from and how they were made.
What do you think of Mestic fabric? Share your thoughts by tweeting us @Amberoot, or in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!