Designer Sanne Visser’s new recycling project repurposes an important resource most of us walk around with daily- the hair on our heads. Her new line, called the New Age of Trichology, utilizes the untapped resource of human hair waste, transforming our old locks into durable, flexible rope that can be applied to a variety of uses. As populations around the globe rise, Visser’s hair recycling system could help keep millions of pounds of human hair out of our landfills, and put to use.

In Visser’s home of the United Kingdom, an average of over 14 million pounds of human hair waste is created each year, clogging up landfills and the environment, without purpose. With the commonality of chemical processing, hair dyes and products, much of this hair waste could transfer its pollutants into our environment, as well as clogging outdoor drainage sysptems.

But besides taking up space, human hair also has value that goes beyond looking great on our heads. The New Age of Trichology plays up the benefits of human hair as a material, which has tensile strength, thermal insulation, oil absorption, and is flexible while being extremely light weight. With these characteristics in mind, Visser collaborated with spinners and rope experts to create a durable line of utilitarian objects using hair as the medium.

Tightly woven human hair bags, shoulder straps, animal leashes, ropes and bungee cords are just a few of her products. Each product lets the user know how much weight it can hold, how many hair cuts were used to make it, and the amount of waste saved from our landfills.

+ Sanne Visser