British fashion & engineering students create a sustainable dissolving wedding dress
The wedding dress below is made of polyvinyl alcohol, a biodegradable substance that dissolves in water. It was created by students at Sheffiled Hallam University in the UK as part of an exhibition called A Sustainable Marriage, which is all about providing Earth-friendly alternatives to throwaway fashion. <!–more–>
“The students wanted to challenge the notion that a wedding dress should only be used once,” Jane Blohm, a fashion lecturer, told London-based newspaper The Telegraph. “The project is a union between art and technology…the wedding gown is perhaps one of the most symbolic garments in a woman’s wardrobe and represents the challenges of ‘throwaway fashion’.”
Right on, Jane. Sing it loud.
But here’s the thing: I love this idea, the exhibit, the students’ vision…it’s all very inspired and creative and their heads and hearts are certainly in the right place. But I always get a little weirded when I see materials like “polyvinyl something-or-other” in the same sentence as “eco-friendly”. Now I’m no chemist, and it’s possible that polyvinyl alcohol grows on beautiful green trees in a magical plastics forest somewhere. But I’m guessing it doesn’t. So is the polymer safe to work with? And wear? Because if I were wearing a dress that started dissolving, I’d be a little concerned about the chemicals and particlulates that would release into the air, or onto my skin…y’know?
While I do my best to understand the science of ecology, sometimes the big words scare me. Does anybody know if a dress made of this fabric is *truly* sustainable? If so, please share your insights in the comments below!