It turns out that sequins are a bit of a pest in the fashion world; they are constantly falling off garments and littering all over the place. Traditional sequins are made of plastic, and we all know how harmful plastic (especially microplastic) can be for the planet.
Thankfully, fashion designers have begun to explore more sustainable alternatives to plastic sequins. The Sustainable Sequins Company is a UK business is currently developing the world’s first biodegradable sequins made of materials in part sourced from algae. But don’t worry – you can throw them in the washing machine without them falling off. They are set to be released in early 2020.
Given that the materials a garment uses makes up about 70% of its overall environmental impact, it is important that the materials used are sustainable. Other popular eco-friendly materials include organic silk and cotton, as well as hemp.
Buying organic materials is a good option as it helps protect the health of the farmers who handle the materials and is also better for the wearer’s wellbeing. Some of the worst materials for the environment (and workers) that you can buy are polyester (recycled polyester is fine), rayon, non-organic cotton and acrylic.
Unfortunately, the majority of the fashion industry continues to use virgin polyester and non-organic cotton. By demanding that companies use eco-friendly materials and only purchasing from such companies, customers can help to increase the demand for these materials.
Some of the biggest factors influencing consumer values include environmental issues like ocean and air pollution, excess water consumption and waste accumulation.
Thankfully, consumer awareness is leading to a growth in sustainable fashion alternatives. Other innovative eco-friendly materials which are becoming popular include vegan leather made of cactus, and silk made of orange peel.