Clothing made from cow manure?

Clothing made from cow manure? Don’t pooh-pooh the idea just yet. After all, dung is serious business, particularly in the Netherlands, where a booming dairy industry has already outstripped the so-called “phosphate ceiling” of 172.9 million kilograms per year. Too much phosphate in waterways can lead to algae blooms, which rob aquatic life of oxygen and are potentially toxic to people. But less manure typically calls for fewer cows, which, for the land of milk, butter, and cheese, is a compromise farmers are hard-pressed to make. Eindhoven-based designer Jalila Essaïdi has an alternative solution: create a circular economy that turns excess excrement—and the surplus phosphate it embodies—into useful products. By “deconstructing” manure, Essaïdi is able to tease out the cellulose within and transform it into bioplastics, biopaper, and even biotextiles.


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