The recent rise in “fast fashion” has created a significant environmental impact. Researchers estimate the mass production of clothing creates billions of pounds of textile waste.
This has caused a shift in fashion brands to rethink how, and from what, they make their clothes.
It feels like plastic – but it’s all-natural
Iceland-based designer Valdís Steinarsdóttir – who once made slippers from horsehair – has created a unique translucent and gel-like clothing line.
She creates these fashion statement pieces using a special technique:
First, the gel is created by combining gelatin – or agar, a vegan gelling agent that comes from red algae – with water, natural dyes, and sugar alcohol.
Then, after mixing, it’s poured into a mold in the shape of the clothing piece. The molds can also be imprinted with a variety of patterns in order to create texture.
Then the material is left to sit and solidify for about a day. After it’s released from the mold, it’s ready to wear. That’s right – no sewing or stitching involved!
Wear, recreate, wear again…
Instead of throwing out used clothes or donating to charity (who might also throw them out), Steinarsdóttir’s garments can be re-liquified and remade into another piece of clothing.
This makes it a truly zero-waste option.
However, there’s one catch: it does feel like you’re wearing plastic.
So, it may not exactly be the most comfortable thing to wear on a night out. On the bright side, it’s actually 100% natural – despite how it may feel.
So, when the material has reached its end, it will biodegrade. Even the molds are adjustable and reusable!
Steinarsdóttir stated, “The mold used to form the clothing is modifiable so you can adjust the size and shape of the clothing you are making. I think of the mold like a puzzle, so you can take out or add pieces to it.”
The pieces were presented as part of a project for Iceland’s largest design festival – DesignMarch. The designer used this as an opportunity to explore different ideas to create more sustainable and nontraditional types of clothing.
Header image source: Valdís Steinarsdóttir