Weirdly sustainable fashion part 2: seaweed nappies


We’ve seen pineapple shoes. We’ve seen rugs made from rice. Today I bring you seaweed nappies.

Luisa Kahlfeldt – a graduate from ECAL, the Swiss Design Uiversity – has recently developed a nappy made entirely from seaweed and eucalyptus fibres.

The nappies are purportedly more sustainable than conventional reusable nappies due to the organic of the materials used to make them. Produced in partnership with Swiss textile company Schoeller, the fabric also has the added benefit of being antibacterial and rich in antioxidants; ideal for babies’ skin.

The design removes both the single-use nature of nappies and tilts the supply chain of raw materials in a more sustainable direction: a double win as far as the ecosystem is concerned.

Kahlfeldt points out that 17 million nappies are thrown away every day in the EU. Not only is this an incredibly wasteful practice from a materials perspective, but the waste itself is also highly damaging to whatever environment it ends up in. Kahlfeldt won the European Dyson prize for her innovation, once more reinforcing the zeal with which designers (and, by implication, manufactures) are pursuing eco-friendly alternatives to existing and well-established products.

Although this development may seem trivial, it represents a growing trend towards using organic and sustainable materials in the manufacturing process. Products like these are then marketed in a chic, fashionable manner that is likely to appeal the most to eco-savvy millennials and Gen Z customers.

Hopefully, by presenting innovations like these as both eco-aware and fashionable, this will continue the trend towards a sustainable future not through legislation and taxation, but rather through tickling the capitalistic tendencies of the public. Create a product that is both aesthetically and socially fashionable and people will buy into it.

Sumo seaweed nappies will hopefully be coming to a store near you in the not-so-distant future. Keep your eyes peeled for the next weirdly sustainable innovation which may well come from one of our clients, a leading suppler of disposable tableware.

ÉCAL graduate Luisa Kahlfeldt has designed a new diaper that is more sustainable than even other reusable cloth nappies — an innovation for which she won the Swiss James Dyson Award.

By Rebecca Garland on 29/10/2019