According to the Mend studio, 300 million tonnes of fabric are thrown away each year in the United States of America. Some of this waste can be attributed to by-products like lint.
On a mission to help heal the earth by creating new materials made from trash, designer Daniel Lev Coleman founded Mend studio after he first created Lintite, a combination of dryer lint and concrete.
Coleman first conceived the idea when he was working on his senior year thesis while studying at California College of the Arts in San Francisco in the US. His research into the massive problem of fabric waste sparked an idea to use some of the millions of tonnes of waste to make something new.
Two years later, Coleman began experimenting with dryer lint, a material that was easily accessible, pre-processed and one that Laundromats throw away by the bag-full every week. He wanted to create a composite material that could be strengthened and lightened through the addition of lint. He began mixing the lint with tapioca-based bio-plastics at home, but they were too flexible and unpredictable. He later turned to plaster, a biodegradable material that was hard and could be molded into shape, but it was too brittle and tended to crack after hardening.
It was only when he mixed concrete with the lint that he discovered that it created a composite that was lighter than normal concrete, while beautifully displaying the fibres from the lint.
Coleman then worked in collaboration with Slate Werner, a local designer and maker, to create a mould for a chair. Werner CNC'd the positive for the mould out of MDF and then Coleman created the negative mold out of plaster, before casting his new lint-concrete hybrid – or Lintite - chair.
Coleman debuted his design at this year’s Milan Design Week. The studio continues to refine Lintite and hopes to bring products to market as soon as possible.
Images courtesy of Mend