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Bio-Artist Transforms Cow Dung into Wearables and More

Jalila Essaïdi is an artist who works with organic materials to create works of art through the use of biotechnology. Her latest project is Mestic®, a form of plastic derived from manure. (Yes, you read that right.) This comes as a solution to a problem that has probably existed since the domestication of cattle--at least 12,000 years ago.

With a single substance, Essaïdi and her team produced paper and plastic. The plastic can then be refined into a thread, and subsequently weaved together to produce viscose. Viscose, which is also known as rayon, is more common than you think. Fast fashion brands like H&M and Cotton On, frequently use this lightweight material, so you probably own a piece or two in your wardrobe. 

Jalila Essaidi Mestic Cow Dung Viscose Rayon fabricA piece of clothing produced with Mestic®

 

If you found the artist Essaïdi's name familiar, you might recognise one of her earlier creations, the Bulletproof Skin. Harvesting the silk of spiders, then reinforcing human skin with the threads, she was able to create a skin that could defend from bullets. The skin while only effective to an extent, is not meant to be a functional or practical solution to the world's terrors. It is a piece of art that provokes and questions the global social and politcal conversation about safety. You can read more here.

 

Photos via Jalila Essaïdi; source via dezeen magazine