Feel Free to Spread the Sparkle
When watching the runways of fashion week, scanning the red carpet looks during award season, or the invites to a fancy soirée, a sequin outfit often finds its way back on the best-dressed list. Sequins are a timeless statement for after-dark dressing as they have graciously evolved with style.
Derived from the energetic music scene of the 1970s and ‘80s and seen on icons such as Diana Ross and Cher, the sequin style continues to be a fun and flashy part of fashion. Coming in various colors and working in casual and formal, sequins can be a staple for everyone.
Thanks to Stella McCartney and Radiant Matter, sequins have a future among our sustainable wardrobes with the debut of the first-ever plastic-free plant-based sequin garment. The sequins appeared on Cara Delevingne’s April Vogue cover shoot on her formfitting peach jumpsuit outfit. These sequins shined like no other as she posed alongside a contrasting green field. In the Stella McCartney x Radiant Matter video, McCartney says, “Vogue was the perfect place to showcase this incredible scientific solution to all the huge impact on microplastics.”
It’s no surprise that McCartney would find a more eco-friendly alternative to sequins as she is a leading sustainable designer who continues creating innovations in the fashion industry. Her partnership with Radiant Matter introduced the industry to a team of scientists, engineers, and designers creating these solutions backed by nature.
Found in Vogue Magazine, Elissa Brunato, the founder of Radiant Matter, says, “we’re inspired by the way that nature creates sparkle: A lot of what we do is look at peacock feathers and beetles’ wings and butterflies. They have this beautiful iridescence. There are no metal coatings on their wings. We look at the way nature does it.”
Brunato previously worked in embroidery design, and production for ready-to-wear for haute couture houses, where she was able to experience first-hand the design choices affect the global environment. Finding a hole in the industry with sustainable options for embellishment components and surface coatings, she embarked on a journey with Radiant Matter in 2018 to find a solution.
Found in Fashion United, Radiant Matters’ “BioSequins” are made “from plant-based cellulose, using no metals, minerals, synthetic pigments and colorants. The innovative sequins are instead plastic-free, biodegradable and non-toxic.”
McCartney has been working exclusively with Radiant Matter for a while now. The cover for the April issue of American Vogue felt like the perfect platform to let the sparkle shine. “I am amazed by the iridescent beauty of our BioSequin all-in-one—handcrafted in my London atelier from plant-derived, non-toxic sequins that are even more stunning than conventional options,” said McCartney in a press release. “Who says sustainability can’t be sexy?”
Sequins are traditionally made with PVC or PET; both plastics add to pollution issues. Harmful petroleum-based dyes and chemicals are added to give the plastic sequin its desired sparkle. Even though sequins often give off an expensive allure, the problem lies in the party clothes and fast fashion outfits, where the sequins are thrown away and put to waste.
“We’re creating a sequin that’s a much more simplified material and can have this natural sparkle,” Brunato says. What's truly beautiful about this sparkle is that it can go far beyond sequins and become an alternative for other decorations and embellishments. We can’t wait to see this partnership between Stella McCartney and Radiant Matter continue to shine a positive light on the future of fashion.
-As always, elevate your wardrobe with respected fashion and embrace the shift in style
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