Talking About Wardrobe Waste
How much waste do you have in your wardrobe?
Sequins on clothing are on-trend this season, but this fast fashion craze can have a serious impact on our environment.
Dr Graham Ormondroyd from the BioComposites Centre at Bangor University is working with designer Rachel Clowes to create a sustainable sequin that will biodegrade after time.
Rachel Clowes, a London-based embroidery and print designer, established The Sustainable Sequin Company a year ago to provide the fashion industry with a sustainable sequin.
Rachel is currently using recycled plastic to provide off the shelf and custom-made sequins of various shapes and sizes. Rachel’s recycled plastic sequins are the first step towards her goal of developing a compostable sequin, which when used on a biodegradable material, could see the whole garment degrading naturally once sent to landfill.
Following a chance meeting at a Natural Materials event in London, Rachel turned to experts at Bangor University and asked them to throw their considerable experience behind her challenge.
The University’s BioComposites Centre has a track record of over 30 years of providing manufacturing and construction industries with alternative plant-based materials or ingredients to replace non-renewable materials. They have already contributed their know-how to the successful development of a range of products; from compostable pizza bases, recyclable coffee cup lids and grass-based egg boxes to bio-based building materials and even car parts.
Graham Ormondroyd of the BioComposites Centre explained the process involved:
“The idea is to take biopolymer, something that’s used in packaging in applications today, and create a sequin that matches the lustre and colour vibrance of traditional sequins.
“But at the end of life you’ll be able to compost that sequin into simple CO2 and water and that will be good for the environment.”
Rachel is happy with how things are developing so far. She said,
“At the moment we have managed to make a bioplastic film which will biodegrade, which is excellent. And the next stage is to produce some really nice colours and work on the shininess of the sequins.
“I hope the future of this project is that we’re able to produce some beautiful, bright, shiny sequins that will biodegrade safely at end of life.”
Find out more about Bangor University's College of Environmental Sciences and Engineering.
Publication date: 5 December 2019