NEW YORK, Jan 23 — Sane Mafa’s furniture is poo — literally.

The product designer graduated from Birmingham City University with a range of furniture made from cow poo — a vastly under-used abundant raw material.

She said the project is about exploring the earth’s natural resources and how they can be utilised sustainably.

“I really wanted to focus on sustainability and using organic material and basically making something organic look really nice and having something that’s really good for the environment.”

Sterilised manure is mixed with resin, then moulded into plant pot holders, stools or lampshades — without hiding what it’s made of.

“I kind of wanted people to be like ‘Oh that’s an interesting material, what is it?’ and kind of be drawn to that. I didn’t want to hide the fact that it’s manure. I wanted it to be known so they’re like ‘Oh wow this is manure, you can do this!’ So yeah I didn’t want to hide that fact,” Mafa said.

The furniture can be completely recycled — the manure, the wooden stands — even the epoxy resin.

“Before I took on this project I didn’t know the half of the stuff we did with manure. Even back in Africa it was used as a building material. People used it when they were building houses, like making huts. I also found out obviously it’s used as energy. Excess manure is used at a bioplant where they can make methane and make energy from that and then I was like, well it can do all this so what else can it do? And there’s plenty of it so why not use it.”

Mafa says it is time to start seeing manure as a potential resource rather than a waste product. — Reuters