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Wearing Plastic Dresses For Fun and Profit

Updated on January 1, 2010
These clothes are all made out of recycled plastic.
These clothes are all made out of recycled plastic.

You know what's an excellent material? Plastic. Plastic gets a hard rap because there's so much of it clogging up landfills and biodegrading slowly, but as scientist friends tell me, that's not necessarily an awful thing because plastic is potentially quite an effective carbon sink. That's not a sink made of carbon, that's a material that absorbs more carbon than it releases. Scientists are working on ways to use C02 emitted in industrial processes as a raw material for plastics. But all of that is technical and dry and doesn't help get you into some shiny plastic clothes, or does it?

Whilst wearing plastic is now often reserved for people who wouldn't mind too terribly much if you beat them with a whip and stuck needles into sensitive areas, wearing plastic could be the way of the future. If we can transform carbon emissions into plastics, it may become environmentally friendly to walk around rustling joyously with that unmistakable sound of plastic.

From Gizmag:

The new methodologies have been outlined in separate presentations at the 235th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society by chemists Thomas E. Müller, Ph.D., and Toshiyasu Sakakura, Ph.D.

“Using CO2 to create polycarbonates might not solve the total carbon dioxide problem, but it could be a significant contribution,” said Müller, who believes it may only be a “matter of a few years" before CO2-derived polymers are available to the public.

Plastic clothing doesn't need to be laundered, it can simply be washed down and worn again. Imagine that! No more washing machines, just hose down your clothes with a bit of soap and you are ready to go.

Some negative nancies might complain that the notion of wearing plastic all the time sounds uncomfortable, but to them I say, you'll get used to it. We used to just wander around in animal skins, you know, and nobody complained then. Modern textiles are just as foreign to the human condition as plastics are.

With a little bit of fashion science it may even be possible to create plastic fabrics that feel just as comfortable as textiles. We already extensively use nylon and other polymers in the production of clothing, and polypropylene is also a very popular fabric amongst the sort of people who like to go dashing about in the snow.

From soft, cottony textures to keep us warm, to thick PVC corsets that cinch us in and make us the envy of all the people who don't look like they just walked out of a production of Dracula, plastic clothing may very well be the way of the future. Yay future!


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      AMM 8 years ago

      Polar-tec (and most "fleece" fabrics?) are made from recycled plastic drink bottles.