Fashion designer Stella McCartney has created the world’s first garment with biodegradable, plastic-free sequins, made from plant-based cellulose and free of synthetic pigments and metals. Known as “BioSequins”, these sequins were developed by Radiant Matter, a company dedicated to creating innovative materials. McCartney used these sequins to create a jumpsuit, handmade in her brand’s London atelier and customized for model and activist Cara Delevingne.
The process was initiated in response to the designer’s concern about the fashion industry’s effects on the global plastic problem. In the UK, for example, 33 million sequined garments are purchased each festive season, of which 1.7 million end up in landfill after just five wears. Because of this, 35% of the microplastics polluting the world’s oceans come from synthetic clothing. Therefore, finding sustainable alternatives is crucial.
McCartney’s BioSequins garment is not yet commercially available, but it is a small step towards mass production of sustainable methods, helping to change the way we think about fashion and its impacts. The introduction of these sequins is also a milestone in the race towards sustainability in fashion, led by brands such as GANNI, which are also using plant-based glitter.