An everyday by-product of the meat industry gets a luxurious afterlife, thanks to the innovative handling of undervalued organic materials. Ventri shows how something that is considered waste in many countries is given a new and much higher value through the action of design.

Take the intestines of a cow. After slaughter, the value of a cow stomach is nil. In the Netherlands, the best-case scenario for its use is in dog food. In Italy and other countries, such animal “waste” products can end up on people’s plates, often only because they are low-priced.
What happens to the value, however, if the stomach becomes not a food product, but a designer bag or chair? Billie van Katwijk's project shows beauty in hidden and unexpected places, discovering new materials by taking a different look at what is already there. Van Katwijk studied the richness of textures and specific properties in each of the four parts of a cow’s stomach, and through a labour-intensive tanning process arrived at a collection of handbags with a unique aesthetic. Says the designer: “I hope that, seduced by its beauty, people are aware of it being a cow stomach and inspire a conversation about the value of under-appreciated and everyday materials.”

Top picture by Femke Rijerman
Model: Patricia Mokosi

Ventri book

The Ventri Book! 64 pages with beautiful pictures of the tanning process of the cow stomach! The book shows how the rich, organic textures of these animal innards make a fascinating material. Some are like winding landscapes, others are almost reptilian. Through a tanning process, Billie van Katwijk was able to transform their raw, natural aesthetic in a unique range of leathers with their own look and feel. Made into handbags, Ventri reveals how cow stomachs can become luxurious design.

Limited edition
64 pages of cow stomach poetry
Beautiful 150 grs textured paper
Stitched bound
17 x 24 cm