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Sustainable fashion inspired by mushrooms in spotlight at Scottish festival

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Emily Raemaekers, who utilises natural techniques and materials when crafting garments, aims to call attention to environmental issues prolonged by the fashion industry in her work – for example showcasing how textile dyeing is currently the second largest global water pollutant.

A piece from Raemaekers is on display at the National Museum of Scotland for the Edinburgh Science Festival’s exhibition, Growing Home.

The showcase explores material usage in fast fashion and how biomaterials can be a more sustainable option in fashion and engineering.

Raemaekers uses natural dyes like dried hibiscus flowers to create a unique pink and red tone on the base of the clothing.

READ MORE: Sustainable Fashion Week ‘a massive success’ with events across the country

Her dress, titled Symbio, is created from a wood pulp fibre called Tencel. Originating from renewable sources, Tencel is a closed-loop manufacturing process, meaning its materials can be reused.

Raemaekers decorated Symbio with linocut printmaking to create a pattern mimicking mycelium, the base structure of fungi. She used water-based ink as it is a more sustainable alternative to plastic-based inks.

She also used plant leathers, including Uppeal, created from apple processing waste from the juice and compote industry, and MuSkin, made from a wild fungus from subtropical environments, for additional design on her garments. Both Uppeal and MuSkin create a lower carbon footprint than their animal leather counterparts.

The Edinburgh Science Festival, which opened on March 30, is showcasing the theme Shaping the Future. 

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