Published on May 28th, 2009 | by Kelly Rand9
Yearn Worthy Yarn: Cigarettes
Alexandra Guerrero, a Chilean designer discovered that by using found cigarette butts, she could clean them and then spin them with wool to produce a yarn to knit and crochet into clothing.
What began as a graduate thesis project, Guerrero heavily researched the possibility of reusing discarded cigarette butts that make up a vast amount of litter in Santiago, Chile. And according to the organization ButtsOut, 4.3 trillion cigarette butts are discarded and left for litter, around the world each year.
After collecting the cigarette butts Guerrero consulted with en environmental engineer to make sure that reusing the butts wouldn’t be dangerous or hazardous. Guerrero then developed a thorough cleaning process that renders the butts 95% pure and safe enough for wear.
The process also helps break down the cigarette fiber so it can be shredded and able to be spun with wool. The resulting yarn is 10% cigarettes and 90% wool, though Cuerrero has plans to increase the percentage of cigarette fiber. The yarn is then able to be knit or crocheted into wearable garments.
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