- story by MaterialDistrict
The Istrenn composite, developed by Malàkio, is a sustainable French material based on recycled shellfish waste from human consumption. The composite is made of more than 60% of recycled shellfish and a natural mineral binder without petrochemicals.
The production process is hand-crafted and low-tech, where more than 80% of the work is hand-made and does not require any firing (air drying). Malàkio makes unique or mass-produced objects with a very low GHG footprint from this composite material made from local raw materials. The material can be worked with classic carpentry tools and techniques, but ideally with stone blades. It can be drilled, screwed or cut. Machining with a CNC milling machine remains delicate in terms of the quality of the finish, as shell fragments may come off when the milling machine passes over them, but can be good for some applications.
The visual aspect of the creations can be customized according to the shells, grinding dimensions, percentage of shells used (between 60 and +80%), natural pigments added or the desired finish (polished, varnish used, etc.).
The design allows Malàkio to create and manufacture pieces of various sizes and shapes from small lifestyle objects and tableware to furniture (shop counters, table tops, shelves, TV stands) without the need to invest in expensive steel moulds. This aspect offers the advantage of refined and custom-made creations that can be produced in shorter periods of time.
Malàkio have conceived the material in order to accompany designers, architects and large companies in their ecological transition and with the ambition of making Malàkio one of the major players in sustainable design in Europe.