British fashion label Stella McCartney has unveiled a sleeveless bodysuit embellished with sustainable sequins made from tree cellulose.
The shimmering sequins, dubbed BioSequins, were made by biomaterials company Radiant Matter as an alternative to traditional sequins made from petroleum-based plastic.
Conventional sequins are made from a polyester film (PVC), which causes significant environmental and health risks, and Elissa Brunato, founder of Radiant Matter, believes there is a gap in the market for sustainable sequins used in clothing.
“When I used to work in fashion design studios, I felt first-hand the discrepancy between the beauty of the craft, the narratives being told and the disappointingly toxic material choices I was confronted with,” Brunato told Dezeen.
“Radiant Matter is working on healthy solutions for the planet without compromising aesthetics.”
Each disc-shaped sequin is made from renewable polymer cellulose extracted from trees. The cellulose’s properties naturally reflect light and make the sequins sparkle. Ironically, traditional sequins are coated with synthetic metalised parts to shine.
“Our BioSequins are structurally coloured, meaning that the colour stems from the material’s innate structure rather than from dyes, metals or minerals,” explained Brunato.
The BioSequins were launched in 2019, but this is the first time they’ve been used on clothing.
“We have loved Stella McCartney’s uncompromising approach to sustainability and aesthetics, which is reflected in any decision, down to the fabric and thread choice, resulting in a fully plant-derived garment,” Brunato concluded.
Stella McCartney was founded in 2001 and is known for sustainability initiatives for its collections.