Science, fashion and retail have all collided together in a project called Wonderland to promote sustainable fashion and recycling.
The Wonderland project was started up by fashion designer Helen Storey and Sheffield University professor of chemistry Tony Ryan to explore how new materials can make consumer products less damaging to the planet. Sainsburys is sponsoring this project which will see a number of polymer dresses made to disintegrate in water and eventually disappear. One biodegradable dress will be placed in the window of the London College of Fashion where at the end of the month the dress will vanish.
Storey said: We are working with a visual language that everybody can understand. The fabrics used in the exhibition will be used as a metaphor for a much bigger subject [sustainability].
Sainsburys is also addressing the issue of sustainable fashion by recycling its plastic bottles from its recycling banks and turning them into clothes. Its 37 sites produce 150,000 tonnes of plastic per year and this will provide the material to be shredded, chopped up and turned into yarn to make fabric.
Sustainability manager Lucy Drage told MRW: It will take 14 bottles to make one fleece and this focuses on issues of sustainability and lowers our carbon footprint. We want recyclable fashion and not disposable fashion and we can deliver huge consumer wants by making choices easier for them. This can be done by giving them fashion at a sustainable rate.
We [supermarkets] do not have to be the bad guys. We are questioning how can we use things and change them into something else.
The store aims to reduce the amount of clothing sent to landfill.
For more information on the disappearing dress see http://www.helenstoreyfoundation.org
Image: Disappearing dress