Chilean designer Alexandra Guerrero’s Mantis line of fashions were inspired by the burning question of what to do with the vast amounts of cigarette butts strewn about in the City of Santiago Chile.
These are not toxic textiles; according to an interview with the designer at GreenMuse, the garments are made of 90% sheep wool and 10% purified cigarette butts:
The purification process begins with the cigarette butts going through autoclaves (a pressurized sanitation process). They are then washed in a solvent; they go through the autoclave again, are rinsed and dried, and, finally, are shredded to create a wool-like material. The resulting liquid byproduct is also being donated to be tested as a biological insecticide for plant pest control.
The percentage of recycled cig butts is hoped to be increased once it become more financially feasible.
Guerrero has cleaned and recycled about 5000 cigarette butts and designed a dress, a vest, a poncho, and a hat even some soap. Currently, the only way to purchase the items, viewable at her blog, is to contact her via email at mantis.yea @ gmail.com.