Check out these breastmilk booties!
First, there was breast milk ice cream, then the trend of breast milk pendants serving as mementos. And now, news has surfaced of pairs of tiny baby booties made from donated breast milk which has been created by a British designer duo.
Husband-and-wife team Nick Gant and Tanya Dean, both lecturers at the University of Brighton in East Sussex, transformed proteins in the milk into a hard plastic-type material, which are then molded into booties. These booties, while pleasing to the eye, cannot be worn at all.
The booties were created using donated breast milk by a mother to promote World Breast Milk Donation Day which was on 19 May 2013.
The inch-long booties are not the first type of sustainable footwear to have been created by these innovative designers. The pair, aptly described as ‘masters of material manipulation’, has made shoes from other unusual waste materials. They have created children’s slippers from dog hair, flip flops from beach waste collected by volunteers, recycled wine corks into men’s brogues among many others.
The thought behind the creation
Speaking about this breast milk project, Mr Gant said: “The aim is to highlight the importance of breast milk donation, and more broadly to challenge people’s perceptions about so-called waste products.”
The process to create the booties was relatively simple. It involved gently heating some breast milk, then adding some vinegar to help form a congealed curd cluster, similar to mozzarella. It was then pressed into silicon molds and dried over the course of four days.
There are plans for five more pairs of booties to be made. The first pair will be presented to a donor to mark World Breast Milk Donation Day.
Find out the importance of donated breast milk on the next page!