Sustainable Sequins – Who’d have thought? - Ecosilk Bags

Sustainable Sequins – Who’d have thought?

By Emily Hay 17th May 2024

I found this fun story today which put a big smile on my face, as did the lovely pink boots! It’s about making sequins sustainable, by making them using plant-based plastic sourced from polyactic acid, which is derived from agricultural waste such as corn, instead of petroleum-based plastic.

As a fashion diehard, but also a staunch environmentalist, I pricked up my ears at the term ‘sustainable sequins’ – who’d have thought? Associate professor and fashion designer Jessica Ciarla, from the University of Texas, has worked with scientists to source and develop a plant-based plastic that can be made into sheets, and then cut into sequins. Together with her students, Jessica tinted the sheets with nontoxic food and mica powders to come up with a range of stunning colours. All scraps leftover from the cutting process are melted down to be made into more sheets to make more sequins, which means it’s a zero-waste process (the holy grail of environmentalism).

Jessica believes in slowing fashion down, and making it more intentional, such as with these lovely sequins. She works with fashion designers around the world to facilitate this idea and make the world a better place for everyone, now and in the future.

Plant Based Nylon

This concept follows on with the ideology behind Ecosilk Bags – that eventually plant based nylon will become commercially viable for manufacturing products in bulk, such as the bags, and eliminate oil-based nylons. Although oil-based nylon is endlessly recyclable, as will plant based nylon be, the world we want to move towards is using sustainable sources, with minimum impact on the environment. Reusable shopping bags need to move towards more sustainable sources, and away from materials such as paper, plastic, poly propylene (the green ‘Bags for Good’). In the meantime, the best bag to use is one that will last the longest, have a small carbon footprint and preferably be recycled at the end of it’s life.

Ecosilk Bags sustainable sequins

Particles of Colour on display at Ut Austin