Uyen Tran, a student in Parsons has developed a material that could serve as an alternative for faux leather. The material composes shells from seafood and coffee grounds and is called Tômtex. Which is a biometrical that functions as a sustainable alternative to leather. Even though it is fully compostable the substance provides toughness, durability and is completely water-resistant. It can still be used as a normal textile material which ensures that the material can be hand-stitched or machine sewed. The material can also be customized to either have the properties of rubber, silicone, or plastic by adjusting the composition and method of production.
The material innovative product has recently won the CFDA’s Design Scholar K11 Innovation award. The project has also been awarded the Biodesign challenge in 2020.
The designer stated that the project questions the perception of waste and plastic pollution with the aim to raise awareness of alternative materials utilization in the future. She continues to add that Tômtex aims to create a more circular economy that takes into consideration the full life cycle of the product and minimize the impact on the environment.
The designer’s journey doesn’t end at the college level. She aspires to create a platform that provides people green products, biomaterials and services. She also wants to consult with Vietnam and the USA to develop sustainability strategies and share sustainability stories.
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