On July the first, BlueCity Lab hosted its third Fiber Club. During this online meetup, participants talked about how to use cattail and reed in a circular economy.
Paludiculture and businesscase
Our current use of peatlands (cattle!) stimulates a few wicked problems like inclinching of soil and leakage of CO2 from the peat. Science points at one solution: to move towards wet and swampy use of the peatlands: paludiculture – which creates an increase of local resources like cattail and reed. The applications of the fibers from paludiculture are still at an early stage and that’s why Gerben Nij Bijvank, business developer at Stichting Veenweiden Innovatie Centrum, joined the conversation to share his experiences in calculating the market for using cattail as a resource. His work will be published in a few weeks presenting the various business cases and suggestions for further (action) research.
Combining leek and aloe vera
Entrepreneurs Iris Veentjer (RietGoed) and Klaske Postma (VanHier) shared how they make products from cattail. According to Iris, the plant feels like a merge between a leek and an aloe vera plant. We discussed what the plant precisely is, how it can be processed into fiber panels (VanHier), fiber board (Typha Board in Germany) and even textiles, as Iris is currently researching. This research happens on a more pioneering stage than the ancient crafts using the fibers of flax and hemp. Yet in Romania, there seems to be a current crafts practice of using cattail fibers for making baskets.
→ Fiber Club: Elephant grass, fast & strong fibers on the 7th of October.