Each year more than 60 billion animals are slaughtered globally.
Therefore, animal remains present a constant and significant waste stream. Abattoir waste consists of blood, bone, fat, skin, hair, animal trimmings and urine, all of which can be hugely problematic to the environment by overwhelming natural eco-systems including, rivers and oceans.
The mountain of animal waste we create daily is culturally associated with dirt: it must be cleaned, destroyed or disguised. Consequently, due to the increasing costs of removal, slaughterhouses often dispose of their waste through the sewers, landfills or on farmland. However, even when this waste is incinerated, it releases dangerous heavy metals into the atmosphere such as sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, toxins which are extremely detrimental to our air quality and human health.
Through the crafting of everyday functional objects, the project of Clemence Grouin-Rigaux aims to not only practically reduce the mountain of waste we generate every day, but to also change our perception of it. Both as a valuable commodity but also culturally as something that doesn’t need to be discarded.
As a matter of availability, Grouin-Rigaux focused on sourcing all their waste materials from pigs. Pigs' meat is one of the most accessible meats to source, as well as its remains, such as blood, bones, skin and hair. We tend to think that a hog is an animal whose every part is reused or eaten. However, many components of the animal are wasted.
Clemence Grouin-Rigaux sourced all of their wasted materials from meat markets (Smithfield Market, Borough market) and local butchers (Turner & Georges, Caledonian Road meat shop).
After focusing only on pig's blood, they extended their investigation towards other by-products, including bones and skins. They started digging into the 18th and 19th centuries when scientists began experimenting with animals in search of plasticity.
All of the Hidden beauty objects are made mixing bone glue or skin glue (which forms the central part of the material) and coloured with blood powder or bone char pigment). In thin layers, it can create a flexible and robust plastic, similar to leather or certain textiles. In large amount, it becomes a durable material, similar to resin.
Text submitted by the maker
Pig waste, bone glue, skin glue
0080-1, 0080-2, 0080-3, 0080-4, 0080-5, 0080-6
Accessible to visitors of the Future Materials Lab