Talk about a Phoenix rising from the ashes. Quite literally, one designer has taken discarded cigarette butts and transformed them from trash into treasure. Alexandra Guerrero, from Chile, created eco-friendly fashion statements from a not-so-healthy habit. The designer came up with the idea to recycle cigarette butts into hot threads while writing a graduate thesis.
Guerrero’s idea – called the Mantis Project – was to take the ubiquitous trash and use it for something good. First, she gathered discarded cigarette butts from the street and ashtrays in local restaurants and bars. She then used an autoclave to sterilize them (thank goodness). From there, the cigarette butts were washed and “purified,” and then shredded into a material that she blended with natural wool.
Can you believe that recycled cigarette butts could be transformed into hot threads? Guerrero has done it… creating eco-fashionable threads that can be used to make apparel and accessories.
Now, I’m all for those cool purses made with aluminum pull-tabs, and jewelry created from discarded pieces of trash. But I find myself a little leery of wearing threads made with recycled cigarette butts, even through Guerrero’s creations are quite beautiful.
Lest you wonder about any health impacts from wearing clothing woven from discarded butts, environmental engineer Caroline Levia has confirmed that the textiles are safe for human skin contact.
Whether yarn created from recycled cigarette butts will be the next big thing in renewable textiles remains to be seen. But with photographs as beautiful as these, maybe the public will be convinced that something truly amazing can be created from the little pieces of trash we see everyday.
What do you think? Would you wear clothing made from recycled cigarette butts?