Waste-free, biodegradable iridescent sequins
Bio Iridescent Sequin is a materials research and design project that harnesses the potential of biotechnology to create iridescent colored sequins from wood cellulose, a material abundant in nature, light, resistant and biodegradable. The result is a fully compostable sequin, obtained through a waste-free production process, with an ethereal and delicate aesthetic appearance. The project, conceived and developed by Elissa Brunato with the mentorship of Claire Bergkamp, Worldwide Sustainability & Innovation Director, and Stella McCartney, stems from a reflection on the often underestimated environmental impact of decorative plastic elements widely used in the fashion sector. at the same time on the aesthetic potential of biomaterials. Thanks to the contribution of Hjalmar Granberg and Tiffany Abitbol, Materials scientists of the Swedish Research Institute RI.SE., the designer was able to obtain iridescent and brilliant colors that are intrinsic to the very structure of cellulose. The sequins thus obtained naturally reflect the light with chromatic shades that do not require synthetic dyes and which, unlike most existing products, do not fade in sunlight or over time.
Elissa, who obtained a master’s degree in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins in London in 2019, personally created the first set of sequins, creating circular mini-molds in which to deposit the right amount of liquid cellulose through a laboratory pipette. The shape of the sequins can obviously vary depending on the design of the mold, but the production by deposition is in any case “cleaner” than die-cutting from sheet, the system with which sequins are traditionally produced, because it does not generate any waste.