Sequins are great. The way they are made, however, is not so great. Before reading a super interesting article on Sleek Magazine about designer Rahel Guiragossian’s pioneering work with sequins I hadn’t really given much thought to the fabrication of these shiny embellishments. After doing a bit more research, it turns out that vintage sequins from the 30s or so were often made from gelatin, which replaced the frequent use of thin, but still rather weighty, metal disks before then. As expected, today’s sequins are made from plastic materials and a questionable concoction of chemicals. It was actually Guiragossian’s mother’s allergy to sequins that initially provoked her to mistrust the material.
With the ever increasing demand for fast fashion it isn’t at all surprising that the detrimental environmental impact is overlooked. It predominantly is in the fashion industry. Thankfully there are designers, like Rahel Guiragossian, who are changing that. In creating a biodegradable alternative that eliminates the use of dubious chemicals, sequins become totally environmentally, and people, friendly from the initial production stage until the garment is discarded (if necessary). This provides a complete contrast to the hundreds of years that sequins take to decompose in their current form.
As a major fan of sequins, Guiragossian’s development of sustainable sequins is something I will definitely be following closely and hope to see spreading further into the fashion industry! I highly recommend reading the original article Sleek Magazine, where you can also see pictures of Guiragossian’s beautiful, sequin-studded creations: http://www.sleek-mag.com/fashion-2/2014/11/not-so-superfluous-sequins-go-sustainable/