A leather-like material made of crab shells and coffee grounds
Called Tômtex, the biomaterial is created from shell seafood waste and coffee grounds, a sustainable alternative instead of faux and animal leather.
Uyen Tran, the designer of the material, grew up in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam, where a lot of leather is created. Widely used in various fields of design, the manufacturing process causes a lot of pollution.
Annually, 8 million tonnes of waste seafood shells and 18 million tonnes of coffee grounds are generated annually worldwide. Killing two, or rather three, birds with one stone, Tran developed a leather alternative made from seafood shells and coffee grounds.
The material is poured in a mould and air-dried for two days to create a leather-like material. The moulds are hand-crafted from clay or 3D printed to create various effects, like that of crocodile or snakeskin leather, but also other patterns.
The material can be customised to be either leather-like, rubber-like or plastic-like by adjusting the formula and the way of production. The resulting material is naturally water-resistant, a feature that can be enhanced by adding a coating of beeswax on top. Finally, it is 100% compostable and natural biodegradable.
Photos: Uyen Tran