Excessories: Creating plastic-free textile accessories from excess waste.

A collaborative design project with @mabiodesign commissioned by @lvmh for the @iucn_congress ‘One Nature, One Future’, 3-11th of September 2021 in Marseille, France. In a strategic collaboration with the new @mabiodesign course @csm_news, Maison/0 have been working during the pandemic with the first cohort of students on a project titled: Design For Nature.

Maison/0 asked: how can biodesign propose new concepts at the service of nature for the luxury sector? How can biology and design converge to disrupt our understanding of how we can develop new regenerative design concepts for luxury?

In response to this proposal, CQ Studio focused on water streams that have become heavily polluted from the textile industry which has threatened biodiversity. This body of research began by looking at wet textile processes and the potential harm they could cause to our water streams.

Dyeing fabrics produce huge amounts of waste that are difficult to clean, this is due to the particles being suspended within the water. Excessories sets out to resolve this. ⁠⁠⁠Fixation percentages of different dye types vary, the two types of dye CQ Studio focused on were acid and direct which have a loss percentage range of around 20 - 5% and 30 - 5 % respectively. This wastewater was collected from the dye labs at the Central Saint Martin campus in Granary Square.

The material used in this process derives from Crustacean shells, which are also a waste stream from the food industry and massively underutilised material. Globally we produced 6-8 million tonnes of it per year. Only 40% of the crab is used as a food source with the rest being the exoskeleton shell. This is composed of calcium carbonate, protein and chitin which are then extracted into the polymer chitosan.

Extracts from the shells of seafood waste are added to textile dye wastewater and a reaction occurs that separates the dye particles from the water. This results in clean water and a pigmented biopolymer. The pigmented biopolymer is then manipulated to create luxurious bio-sequins and embellishments for textile designs.⁠

The inspiration for the design comes from images that were captured by The Australian Antarctic Division, of incredible footage underneath the Antarctic ice sheet. The sea bed was thriving with living organisms because life is protected from harsh storms by the ice sheet, allowing a bustling community of creatures. What has also been discovered was that with climate change and longer summers causing the sheet to melt for longer and expose the elements to this life, there are some invasive species that could take over and destroy these ecosystems.


Seafood shell waste, textile dye waste water


CQ Studio


Maison0, LVMH and MA Biodesign

Photo credits

Paul Cochrane