The world’s first biodegradable mannequin


Lounge Loves: The world’s first biodegradable mannequin

On 18 September, the world’s first biodegradable mannequins were unveiled at a special event at London Fashion Week. In partnership with the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the British Fashion Council, these mannequins, created by Bonaveri, the Italian company known for artistic mannequins and bust forms, wore couture creations by William Vintage. BAFTA and The British Fashion Council were brought together by the Green Carpet Challenge (GCC) which pairs glamour and ethics to raise awareness about sustainability issues. Established in 2010, the GCC uses the red carpet (strategically renaming it as the green carpet) as a communication platform around film and fashion to create meaning and appeal for sustainable fashion. It also drew attention to low impact production of new garments.

GCC is a part of Eco-Age’s mission to reduce the impact of key creative and luxury industries. Founded by Livia Firth, who is also its creative director, Eco-Age is an ideas consultancy that works with influencers in glamour, fashion and movies with a solution-oriented approach towards ethical consumption and sustainability.

The new Bonaveri mannequins are made of B Plast, a bio-based polymer made from 72% sugarcane derivative and finished with B Paint.

The bio-degradable mannequin was sent through a full Life Cycle Analysis before it was turned into a product. In 2012, the company appointed Politecnico di Milano, Italy’s largest technical university, to conduct Life Cycle Assessment on their entire mannequin production. This detailed analysis documented the environmental impact of each phase of the manufacture of mannequins, helping Bonaveri to produce the material that is “truly biodegradable natural plastic from renewable sources,” as a statement by Eco Age described it.

At the final life cycle stage, the B Plast mannequin biodegrades, releasing only water and the equivalent amount of CO2 that the sugarcane absorbed in its vegetative phase. These manufacturing operations were then assessed against Eco Age’s GCC Principles of Sustainable Excellence, covering social welfare, environmental protection, training provision and security for workers.