Flexible, lightweight, high tensile strength, low-cost in production and available worldwide – sounds like nylon? Not quite – the answer is human hair – a high-performance fibre that is not only similar to, but even outperforms nylon in terms of properties because it is biodegradable.

In her project Sanne Visser has her sights on these “natural fibres” and comes up with a solution to not one but two problems: coping with a wealth of human waste hair and finding sustainable solutions for the fisheries industry.

„You don´t need any extra land, water or energy to „grow“ the material.“ Sanne Visser

According to the European Commission, 20% of the fishing gear made of such plastics as nylon islost or disposed of at sea in the European Union. Globally, this corresponds to 640,000 tons per year. With a view to retaining the balance of eco-systems and reducing maritime plastic waste Visser develops lines, ropes and nets from human hair. She spins these fibres into yarns to then twist these into ropes using her proprietary Rope Machine 2.0.

A future-proof idea because the world population is growing and hair is a natural resource that will multiply rather than diminish in volume.