The exploration of sustainable materials continues with a new, very provocative experimentation. If last week we presented Guilty Flavours, the project by Eleonora Ortolani that sees us men as a possible solution for the disposal of plastic (by eating it), today we want to talk about Menstrual Matter Jewels, by Laia Tort, a jewelry collection created with a new bio-material derived from menstrual blood.
Developed within a social context where menstruation is still considered a taboo subject, Matter Jewels wants to break these preconceptions and re-evaluate menstrual blood as a potential resource for the design and creation of products that also promote one’s beauty and personal identity.
Laia tells us how Menstrual Matter Jewels was born: “I have developed an innovative jewelry collection using a new biologically-based material derived from menstrual blood. The process began with a comprehensive analysis of the raw material in its liquid and dehydrated states, studying its behavior at macro- and microscopic levels. Through various blood processing methods, I obtained diverse results, such as bio threads of different sizes, bio sheets, multi-layer textiles, and experimentation with silicone molds. Throughout, I ensured the material met the fundamental requirement of being biodegradable and compostable.”
Through various experiments – discarding processes and materials that did not meet the mechanical or aesthetic standards for a jewelry project – the designer chose to use silicone molds and natural binders to create her line of menstrual blood-based rings.
“A new material with exceptional qualities – continues Laia – compostable, malleable, strong, and translucent to light, enhancing the beauty of these rings. Characterizing the final material was crucial to understanding its mechanical properties, so I conducted laboratory tests to quantitatively confirm these mentioned properties.”
Menstrual Matter Jewels, like other material experiments, we have mentioned Guilty Flavours but we can also speak of Human Material Loop by Zsofia Kollar (human hair as resource) or Butt_er by Carolina Giorgiani (cigarette filters), they go beyond the discovery of a new material. These researches also allow us to question the preconceptions and habits that we have carried with us for generations because when we work with what is defined as “waste” there is not only a change in the social perception of the problem, but also a cultural change, even a lexical one, redefining the idea of this waste as a resource. Perhaps the greatest strength of these experiments is precisely this, not only of presenting sustainable “alternatives” but the ability to show us a possible future that, sooner or later, will come.
The project is part of the new and free Materials Design Map! For more information on the collection you can visit Laia Tort’s Behance or the material page on the Map! Photography courtesy of Laia Tort