Haute Couture Bullshit

Some designer is making clothes out of cow dung.

Look, I’m all for people doing innovative things with waste products, and animal excrement is actually a pretty serious problem. It’s a major contributor to the eutrophication of our waterways, leading to algal blooms and hypoxia (the depletion of oxygen in water, leading to the death of everything reliant on oxygen – so basically everything). And, as a fashion lover, I love what Eindhoven designer Jalila Essaïdi is doing, by converting cow shit into cloth.

Photograph by Cleo Goossens
Photograph by Cleo Goossens

My beef (pardon the pun) is purely with this statement:

“it is the first time that manure is being considered as a valuable resource”

No. And also, no. This shows a breathtaking ignorance of what is happening in the agriculture sector when it comes to manure.

First off, we have biogas generators. Dairy farmers use anaerobic digesters to turn cow poo into energy. Secondly, most farmers will turn their valuable – yes, they already think it’s valuable, even without haute couture – into slurry, or fertiliser for fields. Farmers who can’t use all of their crap consign it directly to horticultural farmers, or even convert it into organic fertiliser. Some farmers can even change their solid waste into cattle bedding!

The idea that manure has never before been considered as a valuable resource is utter nonsense, and it makes me mad.

But anyway, viva the designers, who believe any shit they make up.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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