With her project This is not a Värdera, Hungarian student Krisztina Czika from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in the Netherlands questioned what would happen if human hair was used in the mass production of objects.
To answer this question, Czika chose to integrate human hair into a very familiar object: an IKEA mug. She then remade this everyday object solely from materials that are closely related to the human body, including human hair and leg wax. Czika received hair from several donors and also used her own hair to make 15 mugs in five different colours. First she placed hair in a silicon mould and then filled it with liquid wax.
"Human hair and cosmetic wax both have the qualities of being able to be recycled and contribute to an upcycled production that could be beneficial to our economy", Czika said.
There are other designers using human hair, like Studio Swine whose project Hair Highway saw them create combs from human hair, but not with the intention of using it for mass production.
When people first see the mug the most common reaction is disgust. But Czika's main aim is not to get people to start drinking from these hairy vessels, but just to encourage designers and consumers to look at more renewable materials and make sustainable choices that have a might help halt climate change.
Czika's human hair cup was also featured on Trend Tablet. Images: Margherita Soldati