Series

From Heads to Threads

Link in Bio with Jenny and Alejandro
Washington Post reporter Nicolás Rivero shares why some companies are turning to human hair for more environmentally friendly apparel.
Show transcript
00:00
Hey, brother, the beard looks like it keeps you nice
00:05
and warm. It,
00:06
it does, I'm gonna shave it in a minute.
00:09
So I feel like I feel,
00:10
I feel pretty naked and cold without it.
00:12
Well, it, it kind of reminded me,
00:14
that I read about,
00:16
like I read something about a sweater made of human hair going
00:19
viral, like beard hair or like,
00:21
yeah, like, like like human hair,
00:23
you know, like it's like a,
00:24
a sweater like this.
00:26
But imagine it having like human hair.
00:30
Is that like weird or I mean,
00:32
it's interesting. Would you wear it?
00:33
I mean, we wear like other stuff made of fur and
00:35
stuff. So it's kind of the same.
00:37
It's interesting, right.
00:38
I've never heard of such a thing,
00:39
but we have Nicolas Rivero from the Washington Post here to give
00:44
us the scoop on this human hair sweater.
00:47
Hi, Nico, welcome.
00:50
Thank you for having me.
00:51
Hey, Nico. she saw me with a,
00:54
a sweater made of human hair.
00:57
Yes, that's right.
00:58
So there's a start up out of the Netherlands that is working
01:02
on making fabric for clothing could also be like for furniture or
01:07
other kind of textiles out of human hair?
01:09
Wow. And why are people trying to make,
01:13
you know, sweaters or fabric out of human hair?
01:16
The woman who started the start up,
01:17
her name is Sophia Collar.
01:19
And basically she was at the barbershop at the hair salon and
01:24
she was looking at all of the hair that was getting swept
01:26
away into the trash and thinking there's probably a way to use
01:30
this this thing that we think of as waste in
01:33
a way that is more sustainable than just sending it into a
01:36
landfill or into a trash incinerator.
01:38
I saw an estimate that it's something like 32 tons of human
01:41
hair getting thrown out every day,
01:43
like just in the US and Canada.
01:45
So it's a lot of this stuff and if you could figure
01:47
out something to do with it,
01:48
you could avoid a lot of waste and potentially do something
01:52
interesting with it.
01:53
Like make clothing out of it.
01:54
Interesting. Have you tried on one of these sweaters?
01:57
I have not. So she's over there in the Netherlands.
01:59
I'm here in DC.
02:00
But I have seen pictures of some of the fabrics they've
02:04
made and some of the clothes they've made out of it and
02:06
it is freaky almost how normal they look like.
02:10
This doesn't look like something very out of the ordinary.
02:13
It looks like any other kind of piece of fabric made out
02:16
of wool or cotton or something like this.
02:19
And,, yeah,
02:20
she, she tells me it basically feels like wool.
02:22
Ok. No. Yeah.
02:23
I mean, I feel like I've,
02:24
I've heard of like,
02:25
you know, people recycling water bottles and it's like stuff that
02:28
doesn't look like a water bottle.
02:30
So I'm like, there's a water bottle in there,
02:32
you know, or made out of water bottle was somehow decomposed
02:36
I don't know.
02:36
So II, I can see that.
02:39
Yeah. And like,
02:40
and look, it's,
02:41
it's not just like raw human hair.
02:43
Like she, the whole innovation here is she's finding ways to
02:46
process the hair and basically treat it with chemicals.
02:48
So it changes a little bit the texture so that she can
02:51
work with it. Like in a spinning,
02:53
she can spin the thread and the,
02:54
the yarn,,
02:56
and they can dye any color and basically treat it like any
02:58
other kind of thread.
02:59
That's cool. And be honest.
03:02
Do you think people actually go for these sweaters?
03:04
I feel like right off the bat human hair sweaters.
03:07
Do you think people are gonna be like,
03:08
ah, what do you think it's a little more expensive to
03:12
make this fabric anyway?
03:13
Because she's just starting it out.
03:15
She says start up,
03:15
she's doing a super small batches.
03:17
So it's like more expensive than working with wool or cotton or
03:19
polyester. So that's a barrier.
03:21
But the way she's trying to deal with it is her first
03:25
launch of clothing made out of this material is with this kind
03:29
of high end fashion house where,
03:31
you know, they're basically using this as a selling point to
03:34
say, like if you want to be sustainable,
03:36
if you want a really interesting piece of clothing that's also
03:39
gonna be like a,
03:39
a conversation starter, then you can buy this and that's kind
03:42
of a foothold to show,
03:45
you know, kind of a proof of concept this could work
03:47
and then just trying to expand it out from there.
03:49
Oh, that's interesting.
03:50
Well, I can't wait to see where it may go and
03:52
to see other brands probably incorporate this new,
03:56
you know, form of making fabric.
03:58
That's awesome. And thank you so much.
04:01
And where can we find you?
04:02
Oh, yeah, I'm on Twitter at Nicolas F Rivera or
04:05
I'm at the Washington Post.
04:07
You can find me here writing about climate change solutions like sweaters
04:11
made out of human hair and other things that are a little
04:13
more normal. You said Nicholas foo,
04:16
you're a fool. Yeah,
04:18
exactly. My middle name is Fsia,
04:20
but the whole thing didn't fit.
04:22
So I just have to what?
04:25
Oh, ok. I like that.
04:27
That awesome cool Nicolas.
04:29
Well, we'll keep an eye on this and hopefully next time
04:31
we see you might be rocking the sweater yourself and you know
04:33
we'll get your own va review.
04:36
It's the next hot thing.
04:37
Look out for, man.
04:39
Thank you, Nicholas.
04:40
Thank you. Thank you.
04:42
Thank you.