Chile, cigarette stubs become items of clothing
Combining fashion and sustainability: Chilean fashion designer Alexandra Guerrero, with her brand Mantis, realizes vintage clothing using wool and cigarette filters.

Can a cigarette stub become a dress? It can, thanks to the creativity of Chilean fashion designer Alexandra Guerrero, who has created a line of clothing using yarn obtained recycling cigarettes. Sustainability has got to a whole new level, giving space to ecological and at the same time innovative materials. The artist’s inspiration is to be found in the neglect Santiago de Chile was suffering from: seeing the capital’s streets soiled with cigarette stubs, she thought of a way to give life to those stubs polluting her city. She therefore started using their filters to make fabric, with which she realizes her special clothes, an idea she developed working on her thesis. From theory to practice: her project materialized generating Mantis, a brand now known all over the world. Specifically, Alexandra Guerrero adopted a vintage style for her line of clothing.

(On the right, an item of clothing realized by the Chilean fashion designer. Photo credit: Mantis)

Quality, sustainability and innovation are the main elements of her creations, realized by hand using about a thousand stubs per piece. The fashion designer has made this possible thanks to a process characterized by various operations: purification of the filters in a steam and pressure sterilizing device; washing and sterilization of the waste material treating it with solvent; wringing and drying. After this process, the fibres are dyed and spun with sheep wool, the fabric thus obtained is made of filters (10%) and wool. The care for the environment doesn’t end here. Guerrero, in fact, donates the liquids from the sterilization process to a lab carrying out a research on insecticides. The story of the Chilean fashion designer shows us how creativity and art can be at the centre of a social and ecological transformation.

Cover image, credit: Mantis.