Friday, 11 June 2021


Bricks made from clothes? Say whaaat...?


Unfortunately, the impact from COVID19 on the construction industry continues. The delay in materials is affecting many of us, but can we really just live in hope that normality will resume ASAP? 


Maybe now is the time to look elsewhere, to consider other options? There are many different avenues when thinking of building materials. I’m not suggesting you swap materials halfway through your build, this is never a good idea! Not only could you give your site manager a potential heart attack, but you could also alter the way your build ‘works’. However, if you’re looking for your next project, perhaps alternative materials could work for you?


What we have to remember is that the construction industry produces an extortionate amount of waste per year. In the UK it is said to contribute to over a third of the UK’s total yearly waste. That’s a huge amount, unthinkable actually. There are ways in which we can each play our own part in ensuring our individual carbon footprint is lowered, which collectively, could have a massive positive impact on our industry’s waste per year!


When thinking about eco materials there are various different avenues to consider, from recycled plastics, to bamboo, but the one that caught my eye recently was bricks made from clothes, AKA FabBRICKS. Each brick uses roughly around 2-3 t-shirts, or an equal amount of material. The material is then mixed with glue and put in moulds and pressed. The bricks are then left to dry. The drying process can take about 2 weeks. After the drying time they are then ready to use. Even the machine which is used to compress the bricks is manual, so no energy is wasted by electricity! 


Now the bricks themselves can’t actually be used for construction per se, but they are said to be excellent insulators for both acoustic and thermal purposes. Obviously, they can also be used as a design feature, an internal feature wall perhaps, or maybe you might even like to use them to make furniture for your home. The bricks themselves come in 4 different sizes so they are really universal. 


These bricks are fab! They could really make an indentation on our wasteful industry. The opportunities for them are endless and they really can add a bit of ‘flair’ to your build. Can they stop our industry’s waste alone? Of course not, but they are a good start. 


We all have clothes we no longer wear, which are perhaps old/marked/holed. Why not recycle them into something which is sustainable? The clothes themselves will be shredded so you don’t need to worry too much about any holes. You can literally recycle everything, ‘holes and all’. 


Don’t shut yourself off to different materials just because you don’t know much about them. We’re lucky to be living in a society where we are constantly trying out new concepts, and, in turn, that means a lot of the research is done for us!


Perhaps next time you build you’ll include some FabBRICKS in your design?

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