Due to industrial factory farming, the world now has three times as many chickens as people, leading to significant challenges such as the disposal of chicken feathers. In the EU alone, 3.1 million tonnes of chicken feathers are produced annually, posing environmental problems due to overbreeding and the rapid spread of diseases (1). HYNER addresses this issue by developing textiles from chicken feather waste and actively promoting biodiversity through a godparent program for chickens. With 180 chicken species providing a diverse spectrum of feather colors and patterns, HYNER utilizes a resource-saving technology known as hydroentanglement to create a recyclable fleece with wool-like properties and a silk-like sheen. Feathers, consisting of 90% keratin, are chemically processed into bioplastic or impregnating spray, adding further value to the circular economy.
(1) According to the European Commission, 13.1 million tonnes of poultry meat were produced in the European Union (EU-28) alone in 2014, generating an estimated 3.1 million tonnes of feather litter. (https://fkur.com/news/forschungsprojekte/karma)
by Prof. Mareike Gast
Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design