A 100% biodegradable helmet made from mycelium and hemp.
Dutch firm Studio Mom uses sustainable design principles, circular business practices, and experimental bio-based materials to help make the world greener. Following their design for the LAVO hydrogen-powered bicycle, the studio has introduced another environmentally friendly product. This time, an alternative for an essential bike accessory: the helmet. Usually made with hard-to-recycle plastics and foam that are both harmful to the planet, helmets also require replacing every 3 years, for safety reasons. This creates a lot of waste. MyHelmet aims to change that. This prototype provides a blueprint for a more sustainable cycling industry. StudioMOM collaborated with Politecnico di Milano on this project. The studio used experimental bio-manufacturing techniques previously developed in their own lab.
The team combined mycelium, the root network of fungi, and hemp flakes. As the mycelium feeds on the flakes, it grows and creates cross connections in a network that is both tough and allows air to flow for natural cooling. After this step, the studio briefly exposed the mixture to heat to stop the growing process and create a material that closely resembles standard EPS foam. Made from hemp, both the strap and the outer shell have a woven structure that strengthens the helmet. As the mycelium attaches itself to the hemp textile in the growth process, they remain permanently connected. Naturally, this eliminates the need to use glue or adhesives. MyHelmet is thus tough, lightweight, breathable, and entirely biodegradable. Photographs © StudioMOM.