by Ariston Anderson
Eco-designers are constantly exploring new materials to incorporate into fabrics. Just look at Pharrell Williams recent acquisition of Bionic Yarn, a company known for making items like luggage and blue jeans out of recycled plastic bottles. But what about seeking to recycle items that would be the last thing you'd think of to turn into clothing?
Well that's what fashion designer Alexandra Guerrero did what she sought to recycle cigarette butts into sustainable clothing, through her new company Mantis. "This project began as an idea for my thesis," she tells CH. "We always wanted to do sustainable design but we didn't want to do something that was already seen, so we started thinking of a waste that was unnoticed and then we thought of cigarette butts."
After seeing the positive results and large interest generated, Alexandra decided to turn the project into a business. After purifying the butts (she collects them from the streets), the material is combined with wool to form a raw, textured wool, which can be knit into a variety of garments.
For now, the clothes, can only be purchased through email, at mantis [dot] yea [at] gmail [dot] com. Prices range from $50 for a beret, $125 for the adorable sweater and, our favorite, $110 for the dress.