I find this biodegradable mannequin very interesting and I’m hoping to learn more about the raw materials and companies who supply these new materials.
Bonaveri, a leading Italian manufacturer of artistic mannequins and bust forms, has recently unveiled a biodegradable mannequin (said to be the world’s first) during London’s Fashion Week at the Green Carpet Challenge 2016 last month. The Green Carpet Challenge raises awareness of sustainability within the fashion industry.
The biodegradable mannequins (under the trademark BNatural mannequins) are a result of a research project that began in 2012, which Bonaveri set the goal to investigate the environmental impact of each mannequins life cycle – from the design to the end-of-life processing. The company claimed to have produced mannequins from a bio-based polymer consisting of a 72% sugarcane derivative (under the trademark Bplast). Further information on the website noted the use of PLA. I hope my bioplastic expert friends could further elaborate to me the composition of this Bplast biodegradable polymer as I’m really curious. Bplast is said to have the 3-star OK Biobased certification from Vincotte.
Meanwhile, the mannequins are also finished with a paint (under the trademark BPaint) composed of 100% natural plant-based resins and oils. It also reportedly contains plant-based surfactants that do not contain phosphorus; it has 100% vegetable oil-based solvent obtained from orange peel using physical processes; and it is said to have desiccants that are free of cobalt, salt and naphtha and are based on a new water technology.
Now plant-based paint resins is harder to trace when it comes to looking at the supply chain although there are quite a few bio-based paint resin producers that we can think of. Plant-based surfactants and solvents are not that difficult to source but I have to confess that I have no idea what those desiccants are.
At final life cycle stage, the mannequin reportedly biodegrades, releasing only water and the equivalent amount of CO2 that the sugarcane absorbed during its vegetative phase. The manufacturing operations were assessed against the Eco-Age’s GCC Principles of Sustainable Excellence, covering social welfare, environmental protection, training provision and security for workers.
All in all, this product is definitely intriguing and I might check out some of them since according to Bonaveri, BNatural mannequins are available in North America exclusively through DK Display Corp., which is based in NYC. Bonaveri reportedly produces around 20,000 mannequins per year.