Material Monday Sustainability Series Graduate Shows: Material Futures at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Material Monday Sustainability Series Graduate Shows: Material Futures at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design

Posted Today by Katie Kubrak

Earth is in crisis. NASA states that in 30 years all ice found on Arctic would have melted away. It will contribute to higher ocean levels and disturb ocean currents. 27% of all known species are close to extinction. Greenhouse gas emissions grew to over 6 gigatonnes.

Stella McCartney advocates that “we arrived at a place where doing things in a conventional way is outdated and unsustainable”.  In this notion, some students emerge with inspirational and innovative product concepts for circular economy and promote sustainable material stories.

This Material Monday we review projects we were very impressed by from MA Material Futures at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design degree show.


1. Hidden Beauty by Clemence Grouin-Rigaux

As each year more than 60 billion animals are slaughtered globally (one billion in Britain alone), “Hidden Beauty” introduces a new material created by utilising and harnessing the waste from this industry. Some of the byproducts used include in production of these surfaces include bone char, bone glue, pig hair, blood powder and skin glue.


2. Bio iridescent sequins by Elissa Brunato

This project redesigns a sequin from the base structure up. To start with, it uses moulds to limit material waste. Secondly, it harnesses bio technologies to create colourful shimmering sequins from naturally abundant cellulose, a material with the added benefit of being lightweight, strong and compostable. Lastly, the iridescent shimmer is embedded within the material structure of cellulose rather than relying on addition of chemicals.


3. In the spirit of Kamiko by Katarzyna Suzuki

This project advocates that in a time of an environmental crisis we need our cultural practices to reconnect with the ecological cycles in nature. Taking material inspiration from Japanese paper shirt, which was made in response to textile shortage, this project translated paper as a valuable material into a shoe concept.


4. Soapack by Mi Zhou

It is estimated that a single person over a lifetime uses around 800 shampoo bottles, most of which are thrown away within 1-2 months time. Soapack redefines materiality of shampoo and toiletries packaging by utilising soap instead of plastic. By doing so, the project proposes a new luxury for sustainable toiletries.


5. Seam Unseam by Naila Al-Thani

This project creates a reversible seam assembly using a biosynthetic protein strip derived from Squid Ring Teeth (SRT). The strip is attached to the fabric using water, heat and pressure; it’s machine washable, iron safe, and 100% recyclable. As the strips hold on, the fabric can be detached and reattached when needed leaving no marks on the fabric. This directly extends garments’ longevity, allow for wearer adjustability, and enable garment disassembly. By extending the wearability of the garment, the project hopes to inspire more sustainable production methodologies.


6. Wool: re-crafted by Nathalie Spencer

In “Wool: re-crafted” Spencer takes the waste leaves of pineapples, from markets and juice bars around London, and creates for them a circular system to offer a vegan and more sustainable alternative to wool. By perceiving waste as a design opportunity, an existing by-product is made into a sustainable textile.


We’re on a journey of exploring sustainable stories and if you’re too do not hesitate to get in touch and let’s chat and exchange experiences!