Why did you choose this material to work with?

I found out that nettles have been used for the textile production in Europe long before cotton arrived here. Nettles are plants that grow wild everywhere where humans live. Often they get discarded as weeds and many people are not aware of its multiple applications. I focused on it because it’s readily available and I wanted to bring back all the lost knowledge about it and promote people to engage with it again.

What is the main challenge in circular economy you were trying to solve with this material?

Nowadays the textile industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world. Through cotton agriculture and textiles dyes, terrible amounts of sweet water are being contaminated. Finding alternatives to the current textile industry situation is paramount. Researching about traditional textile sources is a great solution!

Do you consider future development of the project, going to test the material?
In Germany there is already a small growing industry around the species Urtica Dioica, the common European nettle. I will continue to develop my project, find more knowledge and start further cooperations so that I can create European made Nettle textile.
How do you see the role of designer in the development of circular economy agenda?

Designers are specialists combining different disciplines in the conception and production of consumer goods. Keeping high standards in all of them when dealing with environmental protection and always asking questions about the materials, the processes, the working conditions and trying to improve them is the new ethical code of designers today. We can gather all the different knowledge and create concepts that involve the complete system, not just the final product in isolation.

All images are taken from https://taupibernat.com/Our-local-Nettle