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Text and pictures: Agave fibers and contemporary design for Mezcalistas

Sustainability is a buzzword that continues to drive contemporary design, ranging from construction to spirits. Corresponding with a timeline of growth in the agave industry, there has been innovative design coming from Oaxaca, with a focus on natural materials, collaborating with local artisans. Innovation often comes from necessity. In this case a necessity to recycle waste products from the boom in mezcal.

This year, leading design fair Maison & Objet, titled their January event ‘Take Care!’ The aim was to reflect consumer interest in natural materials, respecting the origins of products, manufacturing methods, and the commitments of companies. Trends for 2023 were predicted to embrace the natural qualities of materials, stripped of all synthetics.

Agave fibers have been harvested to make ropes and nets for thousands of years. They offer great potential as a sustainable choice with a rich, textural aesthetic, and it is exciting to see a rise in the use of agave fiber for contemporary design. These fibers can be recycled from the ever growing spirits industry, in the form of bagazo and the discarded agave leaves.

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