16 March 2023
The fashion industry is a major contributor to the global plastic pollution crisis. The production of polyester, which is a synthetic fabric widely used in manufacturing clothing, requires the use of oil. The United Nations estimate that the fashion industry uses around 70 million barrels of oil every year to produce polyester. This dependence on oil for synthetic fabric production is a major contributor to the depletion of fossil fuels and climate change.
Additionally, polyester is responsible for releasing a significant amount of microplastics into the world’s oceans, with the European Environment Agency estimating that the synthetic clothing is responsible for 35% of its total. During the washing process, synthetic fabrics shed microfibers into the water supply, harming aquatic life and even ending up in the food chain.
To address this issue, it is crucial for the fashion industry to adopt sustainable practices that reduce its reliance on synthetic fabrics. One effective strategy is to use recycled materials, which involves converting waste materials into new textiles. This reduces the amount of waste in landfills and the environmental impact of textile production. Additionally, inventing new manufacturing technologies is another way to reduce the negative footprint. For example, there are now textile production methods that require less water and energy, or that use natural dyes instead of synthetic ones.
Promoting circularity by reusing and recycling materials is also an effective strategy for reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry. This involves designing products with the intention of prolonging their life and encouraging consumers to return used products for recycling or repurposing. By promoting circularity, the fashion industry can significantly reduce the amount of waste it generates.
Overall, the fashion industry has a significant impact on the environment, and reducing its reliance on synthetic fabrics, particularly polyester, is crucial for promoting sustainability. By using recycled materials, investing in new textile production technologies, and promoting circularity, the fashion sector can significantly reduce its environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future.
In a bid to combat the environmental impacts of fashion, Radiant Matter has invented BioSequins®, which are made from plant-based cellulose, as opposed to petroleum-based plastics and toxic coatings, which are harmful to the environment and human health. The change in materials used makes BioSequins® free from plastics, metals, minerals, and synthetic pigments, as well as making them non-toxic and biodegradable, meaning they do not leave harmful residues or pollutants behind after serving their purpose. By creating a material that is both sustainable and non-toxic, Radiant Matter is promoting the health of people and the planet.
Mathys & Squire is proud to have helped London-based startup, Radiant Matter, draft their patent application for BioSequins®, the next step in sustainable high-fashion. The world’s first garment crafted from BioSequins® has been used by luxury lifestyle brand Stella McCartney to create a jumpsuit, now gracing the April 2023 cover story of American Vogue, being worn by model and eco-activist Cara Delevingne.
Although the BioSequin® jumpsuit is not yet available for purchase, it represents a significant step forward in sustainable fashion. By developing new materials that are both fashionable and eco-friendly, businesses like Radiant Matter are demonstrating that it is possible to create products that are profitable, whilst also being beneficial to the environment. As more companies begin to adopt sustainable practices, it is likely that we will see more innovations, like BioSequins®, that have the potential to revolutionise the fashion industry.
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