Sustainability in sequins – Can the colorful sequins go green?

13-Aug-2019

Shiny, shimmery, and sparkly sequins, socialites of the dress-up world, we get it, they are the absolute best! Glittery goods are love at first sight to humans, we are just wired that way. Every New Year party has seen a sequin embedded miniskirt strut across the room. So it is with a heavy heart we say that these tiny gorgeous discs have a negative impact on the environment. But hold your horses, we at AISPI come bearing good shiny, shimmery, and sparkly news. Wait for it.

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The first is the inconvenient lifespan and toxicity of the non-biodegradable plastic. The second is a startling scrap of material during the manufacturing phase. And finally, how little outfits with sequins actually come into use, because let’s face it, after that New Year party, your sequin drowned outfit is going to sit at the back of your closet because it’s too jazzy to be worn elsewhere. After some time, it’ll find its way to the trash. And it turns out that plastic sequins will sit in a landfill for years since biodegradation isn’t one of its more attractive qualities. From there, plenty of sequins will pass along into the ocean, where they ultimately end up in the stomachs of the seafood we devour. But before you go into facepalm mode, questioning the worth of a life where you cannot dress up in sequins, there is some glittering light at the end of the tunnel.

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Introducing the Sustainable sequins company!

Rachel Clowes, the brainchild of The Sustainable Sequin Company believes it is entirely inexcusable to use fossil resources, which takes centuries to develop, to make plastic sequins, so, she has invented naturally colored, organic, and biodegradable sequins. The superhero who has come to rescue sequins for all womenfolk I might add. The mission of the Sustainable Sequin Company is to demonstrate how the negative impact can be neutralized by using new materials, and new ways of manufacture. Clowes offers recycled sequins in a range of shapes, sizes, colors, and finishes. Shapes are designed keeping in mind zero to very low wastage.

Recycled PET sequins

As ornamentations are an integral part of couture fashion, Clowes has cleverly formulated a blueprint to sustain the life of sequins.  A unique approach of using naturally-colored organic bio-plastic sequins with three life spans.  

“The sequins are designed to dissolve after a few wears, releasing a natural dye to color the fabric and reveal a new pattern. Through this project, I imagine a new sustainable future where bright sequins melt to produce new colors, utilizing existing materials while retaining joyful memories.”

To this effect, a model dress was developed with three individual lives, looking very different from one other.

Phase One – The first dress is a party dress adorned with bio-plastic sequins.

Phase Two – Half the sequins are dissolved to reveal an alternate special occasion dress.

Phase Three – All the sequins have liquefied and the dress has changed into a casual piece of clothing fit to be worn frequently. Three dresses for the cost of one!

Many fashion lords have their eyes set on these groundbreaking sequins, seeing that going sustainable is the in thing right now, and hopefully to soar higher in the years to come. GUCCI is one such fashion empire that recently utilized recycled PET sequins in having a gorgeous gown designed for the beautiful Hari Nef to awe the red carpet at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards.

Another stunning design from the sustainable brand MonCinta is a kimono created using The Sustainable Sequin Company’s black liquorice semi-circle sequins. A sight for sore eyes!

MonCinta Kimono

Thanks to The Sustainable Sequin Company, a new eco-friendly tomorrow is twinkling brightly upon us with colorful yet green sequins. By discovering a whole new range of organic materials, new production techniques, and customizing sequins to the designer’s needs, not only the problem of waste from overproduction is addressed, but more creative use of sequins can be encouraged. Outfits with 3-dimensional sequins in any shape, design, and color are within our reach. The future of sequins is predicted as sustainable and sparkling!


We have lots more interesting and enlightening topics to read about! Tune in with us at AISPI and follow us on our Instagram page.

-Written by Sureka Naven

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