Textiles, Fashion, Sports and Footwear

Biodegradable Fabric to Solve Fashion Waste Problem

You might not realise, but plastic, a petroleum-based product, is the most used material in the fashion industry right now. In fashion, plastics are turned into many types of fabrics such as organza, nylon, lycra, sequins, even ‘vegan leather‘ and vegan fur.

Biodegradable Fabric

PVC’s and plastic-based fabrics are polluting and unsustainable, with a profound negative impact on animal welfare and the environment.

Plastic fabrics are synthetic polymers that emit persistent, toxic, and bioaccumulative chemicals, known to disrupt hormone balance and cause cancer.

Moreover, plastic fabrics can stay in the environment for hundreds of years, clogging up ecosystems such as oceans, rivers and soils with chemical pollution.

  • Arkema, Neste and Covestro, Braskem, US Survey and BASF

  • Agilix, Amazon Climate Fund, McDonald’s Biofuel, e-Nable, Huhtamaki Startups, African Parks, Siberia

  • Chemical Recycling Commitments & Incentives, Deep Sea Plastic, Greece SUP Ban, NY Composting

Until now. Rachel Clowes, a London-based embroidery and print designer, has created a new type of sequin that biodegrades at the end of its fashion lifetime.

Called ‘bio-sequins’, Rachel’s biodegradable fabric creations are designed to sparkle for a few wears and then safely biodegrade.

“Plastic sequins shimmer for a few hours on the dancefloor, only to end up in a landfill, lying there for centuries if not more,” says Clowes.

  • Biobased Plastics – Advantages & Disadvantages

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  • Compostable Plastics – Advantages & Disadvantages

  • Plastics Recycling – Advantages and Disadvantages

Dissolve in Boiling Water

Clowes’s quest to create a biodegradable fabric that could solve fashion’s waste and pollution problem materialised into organic bio-sequins that dissolve in boiling water.

The bright, shiny bio-sequins are made from water, fruit glycerine, starch, and natural dye and have the rigidity and flexibility of conventional plastic.

Once dissolved, the biodegradable fabric sequins turn into a solution that can be composted.

Moreover, the solution feeds plants and crops by returning the nutrients found in the natural dye and fruit glycerine back to the environment.

Clowes next advent is a biodegradable fabric sequin made from PLA (polylactic acid), a biodegradable polymer made from plants and bread waste, often used in biodegradable packaging.

Without Impacting Style

The biodegradable fabric sequin could last a lifetime in the wardrobe but breaks down with ease when exposed to a microbial environment such as compost-rich soil.

With the understanding that throwaway fashion will never go away, Rachel’s invention of an environmentally friendly and biodegradable fabric could finally put an end to fashion waste and pollution without affecting the aesthetics.

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REFS

Published on wtvox.com

Biodegradable Fabric – How Science Solves Fashion’s Waste Problem

 

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