Shell Homage: Functional and Sustainable Products Made
From Egg and Nut Shells
“Shell Homage biomaterials” produces biodegradable surfaces that uses a combination of eggshells and nut casings.
Developed by the Egyptian product designer, Rania Elkalla as a result of her master’s project, Shell Homage biomaterial has received many awards for being an environmentally friendly beautiful functional product that believes in promoting environmental sustainability and functional diversity.
Shell Homage was an idea conceived by Elkalla during a family breakfast. Inspired by her father bringing home nuts encased in their shells (only to throw the shells away later), she thought of alternate ways to use the shells. Elkalla noticed that nut casings are durable, heat and water-resistant, and similar to wood. They are often used to strengthen materials.
Another inspiration was eggshells. More than a trillion eggs are laid every year, but the eggshells are mostly thrown away. Almost 95% of eggshells are made of calcium carbonate which can absorb 78 percent of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Eggs are a common kitchen product, but their shells are almost always discarded.
The underutilization of both these shells turned into the biomaterial venture of Shell Homage.
Designs integrating functionality and sustainability
This elegant product integrates functional diversity and sustainability using abundantly available biological material. The shells are mixed with organic and biodegradable binders and blended with colorants extracted from nature to give them unique colors and textures.
Once the product is not usable anymore, it can be left in the soil to degrade. The pursuit to be in full control of the lifespan of the product, from its origin to the final product until its inescapable decay is the guiding principle of Shell Homage.
The versatility of Shell Homage Biomaterials
The surfaces made from this product can vary in terms of texture and transparency. It can range from smooth to rough and opaque to translucent. The material properties can be controlled by the production method. This can also allow for the production of hard sheets to malleable elastic. The calcium content provides it a ceramic feel. As the biomaterial is similar to stone or ceramic, the material can also be drilled or sanded, or laser cut.
The Shell Homage product looks like marble, which gives it a grand look and feel. The color palettes of the products are natural and customizable. Since it is made of shells, it is a lightweight product that can be easily transported without much fuel emissions.
Shell Homage produces mesmerizing surfaces for furniture, jewelry, domestic and other industries. The products include tabletop surfaces, floor lamps, decorative hair wear, etc. Shell Homage products are also used in the fashion industry as buttons, zippers, neck collars, hard shields on shoulders, parts of garments, replacing their synthetic counterparts.
They seek out to collaborate with other brands to reach amazing solutions that outperform and offer viable alternatives to current solutions.