Due to industrial factory farming, there are three times as many chickens as people in the world. In the EU alone, 3.1 million tonnes of chicken feathers are produced every year (1), which pose a major disposal problem due to overbreeding and rapidly spreading diseases.
HYNER develops textiles from chicken feather waste and promotes biodiversity by offering to be a godparent for chickens. 180 chicken species provide a diverse spectrum of feather colours and patterns. For biological reasons, the chicken's lose their feathers once a year during the moulting season. Using the resource-saving technology of hydroentanglement, we create a recyclable fleece with the properties of wool and a silk-like sheen. Feathers consist of 90% keratin, a protein that is chemically processed as bioplastic or impregnating spray to create further added value in the cycle.
(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