Creating local employment in Mexico with a new sustainable material

Designer Fernando Laposse is reviving an embattled farming process to offer Mexico an alternative livelihood.

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From the Series

Nafta, the North American Free Trade Agreement, crushed local farming in Mexico.

Locally produced corn, a staple in Mexican food and culture, struggled to keep up with the heavily subsidised corn and other staples pouring into Mexico as result of the agreement.

Millions of farmers were forced to abandon their traditional farming practices and embrace the production and pesticide heavy way of the US.

London-based Mexican designer Fernando Laposse from Central Saint Martins found a way to rejuvenate Mexico’s corn agricultural industry. His project Totomoxtle harnesses the naturally colourful husks of Native Mexican corn to create unique interiors and furniture, giving corn farmers another source of income.

He presented this new sustainable material at the inaugural antenna, Design Indaba and Dutch Design Weeks’ global scan of the world’s best design graduates.

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