Clothing made out of cow dung- trust me, it may sound gross to you but it is probably one of the best things happening to the Netherlands. There is so much more to it than just the name. Designer Jalila Essaidi creates cow dung based fabrics that are used to make clothes. Yes! She turns manure int designer wear. And to give more of this amazing information it is not just bi-textile but Jalila has also manufactured bio-plastic and bio-paper out of the recycled cow dung. She titles the project, 'Mestic' and this project is a ray of hope for the environmental concerns the Netherlands is dealing with. Jalila Essaidi is one of the most unique fashion designers you'll see, she uses her expertise in the field of bio-based materials and biological arts, Jalila is addressing the global manure surplus. This manure surplus in responsible for excessive amounts of harmful phosphorus and nitrogen in surface and groundwater that are potentially toxic to people.
Why is This a Major Step Towards The Environment In The Netherlands?
The Netherlands' booming dairy industry causes the area to be the victim of 'Phosphate ceiling'. The large quantity of cow dung is a problem in the Netherlands because it releases an excessive amount of phosphate, which contaminates groundwater and also caused the algae bloom which can devastate the aquatic life. Due to the excessive phosphate, the algae starts to die and bloats in size which causes it o float on water and causes a thick sheet on the water. The sheet hinders the amount of sunlight and oxygen that reaches the aquatic life below and further causes most living organisms in the water bodies to die. Deriving less manure means lesser cows and lesser availability of products like milk, cheese, butter, cheese etc. More than anything a lot of farmers may lose livelihood and it may affect the place's economy. Jalila Essaidi realised that places like the Netherlands that create a surplus of manure required a scientific approach to solve the issue.
She recently received a Global Change Award from fashion mega-retailer H&M for her innovative approach towards converting waste into a fruitful resource. The designer is also very well known for another project of her of creating what she calls 'Bulletproof skin', she describes it by saying, '‘Bulletproof Skin’, a project that achieved bioengineered bulletproof human skin. This project combined in vitro human skin with spider silk from genetically modified organisms to create a material that stops a slow-speed bullet.'