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Human Hair as Circular Material - Talk by Sanne Visser

07/04/21, 11am–12pm

The circular bio economy (CBE) plays an important role in combatting the climate emergency. It has begun to extend conventional approaches to designing with waste by using natural, regenerative systems. This has brought us new, biobased materials. While the recycling of plant-based and man-made materials has gained momentum, the full landscape of protein-based fibres has been overlooked.

Alongside other animal-derived protein fibres, human hair is an abundant waste stream. It does not yet have a closed-loop system for recovery and regeneration, despite its harmful, yet also valuable, properties.
Sanne talked to us about her journey, which begun as a fascination for human hair during her BA to what has now become her current PhD research at CCD ; Human Hair as Circular Material: adding value to the circular bioeconomy with waste protein fibres through interdisciplinary and collaborative design practice.

Human hair recycling for hair extensions in India. Photographer: Adrian Fisk