Total Pageviews

Saturday, September 5, 2020


TomTex Alternative Leathers from seashells and coffee grounds
There’s an old inappropriate joke about a intrepid Bayou farmer who made wallets out of male alligator foreskins.  As workers soon learned excess handling of the wallets could result in the wallet erecting into a huge piece of luggage.

If you don’t get it.  Good.

And for those that did, we apologize. 

The joke to news connection (feeble at best) is a report from Vietnam (as reported various media outlets) that Uyen Tran, a designer, has developed a flexible bio-material called TomTex, which is a leather alternative made from coffee grounds and waste seafood shells.

The finished product can be embossed with a variety of patterns to replicate animal leathers, including alligator skin.

Named Tom, meaning shrimp in Vietnamese, references the used seafood shells that when mixed with coffee grounds makes for a valuable new textile.

Says Tran, the new textile can be stitched by hand or machine.

Plenty of raw materials exist to back this idea. The designer revealed that each year the world produces eight million tons of waste seafood shells and 18 million tons of coffee grounds.
Bioplastic shoe sole from corn
Meanwhile, innovative as Uyen Tran’s idea is others have come up with innovative recycling.  Reebok’s Corn + Cotton trainers are made with bioplastic shoe sole from corn and the insole is made from caster bean oil.  Reebok promises their new corny product is durable as other sneakers on the market.

In London, a creative reuse of toxic red mud residue from aluminum production is being used to create terracotta-hued cups, bowls and teapots.  The project is called “From Wasteland to Living Room” by Studio ThusThat (cq), which is made up of four Royal College of Art associates.

Raw material red mud is basically bauxite tailings, a by-product of refining ore into alumina to make aluminum.  What we have is quite a bit of iron-oxide (think of Mars), which gives off a rusty color to recycled ceramic tableware et al.

No need to import iron-oxide from Mars because there’s plenty of the waste product here on Earth.  In fact, there’s a staggering amount that’s nobody wants.  The aforementioned designers report more than 150 million tons of red mud are produced every year and stored in mining pits all over the world.    

Mud Source: Click here.
WEEKLY COFFEE QUIZ--Above. Where in the world is this coffee establishment?  Answer next Saturday in Coffee Beans & Beings post.
LAST WEEK’S COFFEE QUIZ ANSWER. Sequoia Coffee Company makes up a good portion of village of Three Rivers, California, a rustic respite on the road to Sequoia National Park.

No comments:

Post a Comment