Recycled Cigarette Butts Transformed into Hot Threads

Going green — By on November 4, 2010 at 6:53 am
cigarette clothes02 Recycled Cigarette Butts Transformed into Hot Threads

Cigarette butts are transformed into hot threads!

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.

cigarette clothes01 Recycled Cigarette Butts Transformed into Hot Threads

Poncho woven with cigarette butt yarn

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.

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Smokin' hot threads from recycled cigarette butts

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?

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  1. WOW! Who would have known that cigarette butts could make such beautiful clothing?! I wish everyone could see these pictures because maybe then people would think twice about throwing their cigarette butts on the street and out their car windows.

    I will definitely be passing this post on to others! Stay green :)

  2. admin says:

    It really is amazing, isn’t it? Thanks for commenting and passing on the green info – cheers!

  3. GOsh, how incredible! I must admit I’m torn between the gross factor and the ‘amazing creativity’ factor! I keep thinking there must be some residual smell, but that’s just ignorance. Thanks so much for highlighting this – I’ll be sharing on my site too and sharing the link love :)

  4. admin says:

    Funny, huh? I thought about the same thing. But the material is washed and thoroughly cleaned before weaving it into yarn. Thanks for the link love! ;-)

  5. Amy says:

    I have to wonder if all the processing involved in cleaning the butts somehow mitigates the advantages gained from recycling. Would it possibly use less energy to find a less dirty waste product to recycle?

  6. T.R.E. Hugger says:

    Well Amy…… Cigarette butts contain high levels of Cadmium, and some solar panels contain Cadmium. So why not make solar panels out of cigarette butts…….

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