The Golden Phoenix reminisces on the roaring 20’s and celebrates its centurial return in 2020. It embodies a circular peace silk dress dyed naturally with turmeric juice by-product, which is embellished with biodegradable biopolymer sequins made from algae. It is designer collaboration of Carolyn Raff Studio and Nikolett Madai, where the two designers accomplished a closed loop production system, while revolutionizing the fashion industry through food by-products.
Circular fashion designer Nikolett Madai applied her ‘Grave-to-Cradle’ methodology, where she rescued juice processing by-products of turmeric and pomegranate, which would have ended up in landfill otherwise, from which she extracted colour pigments in a sustainable manner to accomplish the natural golden colour on biodegradable peace silk, an animal cruelty free textile. By fusing traditional natural dyeing techniques with these modern by-product ingredients, certain physical attributes such as light fastness properties could be achieved without the usage of chemicals and has the potential to bestow health benefits onto the dress itself due to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory medicinal properties.
To bring the by-product dyeing into full circulation, textile designer Carolyn Raff upcycled the leftover by-product dye baths of the dress to colour her algae based sequins. She produced a mixture from the dye baths, agar-agar and glycerol to create a jelly compound ready to be air dried flat and cut out to form the sequin shapes and hand appliquéd onto the dress. As the collaboration name entails, just as a phoenix rises from the ashes, the used, worn or leftover biopolymer sequins, as well as the semi solid sequin cutaways can be melted down to create new biopolymers continuously, achieving a zero waste production.
It was featured as one of the first projects of the Green Product Club, as Nikolett, the winner of last year’s Green Concept Award and Carolyn Raff this year´s Green Selection nominee met through the Green Product Award network.