Our food industry poses a huge threat to the biodiversity and society due to its wasteful manufacturing processes and unequal distribution. One-third of all food produced, globally, is disposed off and meat and seafood within that sector contribute in a vast majority. If we take fish, poultry, pork etc. the mass of meat is just about 50% and the rest of the bones, skin, feathers, blood, organs etc. are all waste. Although, these materials are organic, they toxic to the environment due the large quantities they are produced in.
Despite the awareness and spread of veganism, non-vegetarianism is not dying anytime soon, therefore, consuming the whole animal works well within the ecosystem of sustainability. It reduces the amount of trash and adds value to it, making it beneficial for both the environment and economy.
Keeping this in mind, an eco-friendly surface material, made from upcycled chicken feathers was created by Midushi Kochhar. The waste feathers were collected from an abattoir on the outskirts of London and boiled and cleaned. Prior to this, these feathers have had no use. After discovering their enormous binding strength, Midushi combined them with Agar bioplastic and created a long lasting, flexible and wet-mouldable material. To encourage sustainable living, this novelty has been applied in lampshades due to its distinct natural texture, which is enhanced as the light turns on. Due to an uncanny association of this material with hens, it makes people raise questions related to animal cruelty and food waste.
Chicken feathers, agar agar, glycerine.
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