Human Material Loop is taking its material innovations to one of the tallest mountain peaks in the world.
The company is focused on the utilization of waste keratin protein fiber (hair) to develop high-performing products for the textile industry. In January, company co-founder Leonardo Antonio Avezzano took prototype gear created using the company’s technology to the Andes and Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside of the Himalayas.
“We are game changers and ready to prove it to the world,” he said. “We are exploring different possibilities and applications since the beginning, you can have great lab results, but the real test of your technology is when you put it to real-life situation.”
Avezzano and his innate passion for the outdoors and the planet have led him around the world, from mountains to deserts.
“There are many challenges throughout our life, some of them you create yourself,” he said. “In this journey you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. For me going in these extreme environments it’s a way to find that balance with nature that it seems to be lost. I climb to reconnect to myself, to be in an environment where I can feel the weakness and strengths of the human body and mind—and perhaps to disconnect from my ego as well.”
Millions of pounds of hair from salons and barbershops end up in landfills or incinerators all over the world. While human hair is the same keratin protein fiber as wool, it has not yet been implemented in the production system. Human Material Loop aims to change that with its prototype jacket and pants filled with waste hair collected from local hair salons and treated to provide the best thermal protection in one of the harshest environment in the planet.