How to protect our planet from microplastics pollution and reduce our footprint ?
The resilient sponge is a natural, reusable, washable and sustainable hemp kitchen sponge, produce in short circuit and created in collaboration with its users.
As our dish sponge is completely natural, you can compost it.
Several sponges have been produced, tested and improved in order to correspond as much as possible to the users’ needs.
We were driven by the desire to make a 100% natural, biodegradable and ecological sponge, produced in short circuit, that would be both beautiful and solid. We chose to work with hemp to make the sponge, and are currently collaborating with a Belgian company to produce and market the sponge.
We are committed to producing a European hemp sponge in Belgium and our hope is to see the birth of a wet hemp spinning mill in Belgium in order to provide the most local product possible and enhance the production and use of this high-quality fibre which can make a positive contribution in the current environmental crisis we are facing.
Why is it really ecological ?
Hemp fibre is transformed by natural (retting) and mechanical processes, unlike artificial or synthetics fibres which require chemical transformations, often petrochemical, lots of energy and are not always biodegradable.
«In a single wash cycle, purely synthetic textiles lose up to 730,000 microfibers, finds a study by Plymouth University in Britain.»
Our sponge is solid and releases no polluting particles or synthetic fibres into the water. It is washable and can therefore be reused over and over. Its lifespan is currently being evaluated, and the first tests have already proven a longer lifespan than conventional sponges.
«Every second, 100 tons of waste (out of the 4 billion produced annually) end up in the sea, a large part of which is made of plastic. Some do not hesitate to speak of « seventh continent ». Whether floating objects or microparticles, such waste is deposited on beaches, dispersed in the sea, ending up on the seabed.»
At the end of its lifespan, the sponge can either be recycled or composted. Since it is made of a single material, this greatly facilitates recycling in industry.
In addition, growing hemp does not require irrigation, herbicides or pesticides. Its rapid growth makes it possible to remove weeds from the fields and thus prepare the ground for a cereal crop without spraying herbicides beforehand.
The resilient sponge is the result of research into the development of a 100% natural, resistant and short circuit dishwashing sponge in order to limit our dependence on oil and to limit the spread of microplastics in the environment (currently present in the northern and southern hemispheres, and right into our vital organs) and their impact on wildlife, which also has repercussions on the human species.
This research has led to the creation of a natural hemp dishcloth and a range of cleaning products for the natural cleaning of the house, produced in Belgium and developed in close collaboration with its users. This range includes sponge cleaning gloves, dishcloths and rags.
Our range of resilient sponges has been designed to respect the environment and the living world. We knit our sponges in vegetable fiber. They are therefore washable, resistant, entirely biodegradable and compostable.
Unlike conventional sponges and rags made of artificial fibers (bamboo viscose or wood cellulose) or synthetic fibers such as polyester, polyamide or acrylic, they are guaranteed to be free of plastic and glue and do not release any microfibers into the environment.
Its fiber is solid and certified Oekotex Standard 100, which makes it a sustainable product and respectful of the living.
What could be more annoying than an unusable design and utility object?
At Design for resilience, we took the time to test but also to have our sponge tested. Prototypes were made by hand to be evaluated by users. Through testing, we improved our sponge and developed a fast-drying sponge structure.
During its development, we selected the most ecological, strong and close materials possible.
Today, our collaboration with Ceetex hosiery allows us to market our sponges at an affordable price while guaranteeing the quality of each sponge at the end of production.
Our resilient dishcloth, including its assembly threads and composition label, is made only of natural materials that do not release any pollutants, synthetic fibers or micro-plastics into the water or air.
The double-layered, solid and washable structure of the dishcloth prolongs its life.
In addition, the hemp fiber is naturally antibacterial, which prevents the development of bad odors and allows the sponge to be used for several weeks before having to be washed in the washing machine.
By following our care tips, you can easily use your dishcloth for 5-7 weeks. Your mitt can be washed with your weekly 40° laundry detergent and does not require any special treatment or product, however we suggest you use an ecological liquid detergent that is more respectful of the environment and natural fibers and follow our care tips.
Its lifespan is currently being evaluated, but the latest tests have already proven that it lasts longer than conventional sponges.
Hemp is a very resistant vegetable fiber, of a much higher quality than cotton. Like linen, it improves with time; it becomes softer and whiter with time.
Hemp fiber is transformed by natural processes (retting) and mechanical processes (scutching, carding and spinning) unlike artificial or synthetic fibers which require chemical transformations and are often not compostable.
Hemp is one of the fastest decomposing fibers. As its molecular structure has not been chemically modified, it takes only a few weeks to be completely decomposed by soil microorganisms. Contrary to artificial and synthetic fibers which require many months or even centuries to disappear after having impacted the fauna and the flora.
Moreover, hemp is a fiber that does not require irrigation, herbicides or pesticides. Its rapid growth takes advantage of weeds (wild grasses), allowing conventional farmers to prepare the ground for a cereal crop without spraying herbicides before planting.
When your sponge starts to deteriorate after several months of use, some threads will start to wear out. Don’t panic, the natural character of hemp fiber is to felt under friction.
By using your sponge, you will have felted it and strengthened it: when your stitches start to fall apart, they will have clung tightly to each other and will not allow your sponge’s stitches to unravel.
You can continue to use your sponge as if nothing had happened. Isn’t life great?
At the end of its life, the sponge can either be recycled or composted. The fact that it is made up solely of vegetable matter is the sine qua non for its recycling in a closed circuit in the textile industry.
Currently, we are evaluating the possibilities of using end-of-life sponges in eco-construction as thermal insulation.
You can compost your sponge in a family garden compost.
Ideally place your compost in the shade under a tree, but do not cover it to let the rain run off. As the rain soaks in, it will allow air to move inside the compost, which will help your household waste to decompose. For effective compost, make sure you have a good carbon/nitrogen balance (⅓ to ⅔) and turn your compost every 6 months.
✂ To speed up the decomposition of your sponge, you can cut it with scissors into small 3 cm squares.
We are an actor of the local and social economy. By producing locally, we support the last small and medium-sized Belgian and European textile companies and participate in the preservation of know-how.
We see in hemp a qualitative fiber that can play a major role in the environmental emergency we are going through.
This is why we wish to take part in the relocation of a hemp textile industry in Europe.
Composition and traceability:
Our sponge is made of 100% natural plant-based and compostable fibers.
Composition of the sponge: 100% hemp Oeko-tex® Standard 100.
Composition of the composition label: 100 % fine, combed, Egyptian cotton of superior quality. Oeko-tex® Standard 100
The cotton is picked, combed and gassed by hand.
Composition of the sewing thread: 100 % Oeko-tex® Standard 100 cotton.
How to maintain your dish sponge?
- Rinse your sponge with cold water and wring it out before letting it dry: if you are wiping liquids rich in tannins, such as wine, coffee or tea, this will prevent the tannins from biting into the fibers of your sponge and darkening the color.
- Hang your sponge by its composition label for faster drying.
- Wring out your sponge glove by squeezing it. Do not twist it. Manual wringing with excessive twisting could break the cotton thread assembly of your glove. A cotton thread assembly allows you to compost your product at the end of its life. However, these threads are not as stress resistant as polyester thread.
- If you have to throw away boiling water (cooking water, leftover boiling water in the kettle, …), take the opportunity to pour it on your sponge. Let it cool down so as not to burn yourself, rinse if the water contained organic residues (starches or other), and here we go again for several weeks of odorless use.
The resilient sponge is very easy to maintain:
- Wash your sponge with textiles of the same color. Dark or colored laundry can rub off on your sponge.
- Washing at 40° is sufficient and recommended for environmental reasons.
- The sponge can be washed at 60°.
- If your sponge is unbleached, take advantage of the good weather to dry it in the sun. These rays will have a whitening action on the fiber.
The resilient sponge is made of hemp yarn which naturally has anti-bacterial properties, you will notice that you will keep it clean and odor free longer.
- Bad odors are caused by bacteria. To prevent them from forming, rinse your sponge after each use, wring it out and dry it hanging or on a dry, ventilated and if possible sunny place.
- By rinsing and wringing out your hemp sponge after every dish, you can keep it clean for up to 7 weeks without having to run it through the machine. Of course, you can take advantage of your weekly laundry to slip it in and refresh it if necessary.
- If you don’t wash and don’t follow our care recommendations, we recommend a weekly machine wash.
Does the sponge stain easily?
NO, if you rinse your sponge with cold water after use, you will eliminate the tannins that may be present in certain foods, which will prevent the appearance of any stains.
Concerning tomato sauce, beet juice, curry for example, these are not dyes, so they will not stain or change the color of your sponge. However, a tint may persist for 1 to 2 dishes with the tomato sauce. This will go away by itself at the end of your next wash.
They tested our sponges
Nominations and awards
This work won the WBDM (Wallonie-Bruxelles Design Mode) award and the People’s Choice Award at BeCraft’s Springboard 2019 competition.
< Handmade researches for The resilient sponge nominated for Green Product Award – Green Selection 2020.