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Arkema and RadiciGroup are thrilled to unveil their latest achievement towards more sustainable textiles: a remarkable 100% bio-based dress crafted entirely from castor beans.

The dress made was part of the runway show during the Phygital Sustainability Expo® 2023 in Rome and symbolizes the wish of both companies to inspire and encourage the fashion industry to embrace lower impact alternatives.

Behind the Design

How can a dress can be produced with an environmental impact as low as possible ?

The primary factor influencing the carbon footprint of a garment is the choice of fabric material. Opting for environmentally preferable raw materials can significantly reduce associated carbon emissions.

This particular dress has been crafted using Biofeel® Eleven yarn, provided by our partner RadiciGroup. The yarn is derived entirely from castor beans as it is based on our renowned Rilsan® Polyamide 11, making the dress 100% bio-based.

In addition to material selection, the manufacturing process plays a crucial role in minimizing waste and environmental impact.

This dress has been created using an innovative and sustainable technique known as "textile 3D printing." This method eliminates the need for traditional fabric weaving and cutting processes. Instead, the garment is knitted directly from the yarn, resulting in zero waste generation. Only the precise amount of yarn required for the dress is utilized, further reducing resource consumption.

From the Farm to the Runway

The story begins in India, in the state of Gujarat. "Eranda" means castor bean in Gujarati, a bean which carries along great values.

The country makes more than 80% of global production of castor beans in a unique eco-system with more than 700,000 family farmers growing castor. The cultivation of the castor plant (from which the beans are collected) does not compete with food chains, do not contribute to deforestation and is highly profitable for the farmers.

Arkema is a founding member of Pragati, the sustainable castor initiative. Started in 2016, the goal of the program is to enhance castor productivity in India by training farmers to build capacity, improve yields, and reduce environmental impacts and water consumption, thus helping them to cultivate castor beans effectively and as ecologically as possible.
The beans are collected, dried, and crushed into castor oil. This oil is then converted into Rilsan® PA11 polymer and ultimately into a high-performance yarn by our partner Radici.

Biofeel® Eleven: A Unique Bio-Circular Yarn

The dress was made using the Biofeel® Eleven yarn from our partner RadiciGroup. This innovative yarn is 100% bio-based and recyclable and provides high technical, aesthetic and environmental performance.

Technical advantages of the yarn are:
  • Good dimensional stability due to low water absorption.
  • Light weight : 15% lighter than conventional nylons
  • Great resistance to permanent deformation
  • High durability and long-lasting quality
  • Pleasant to the touch
  • Chemical-resistant

Lowering Impact Through Material Selection

Thanks to its renewable origin, Rilsan® PA11 offers a preferred sustainability profile compared to conventional synthetic fibers, with up to 70% reduced carbon emissions when compared to traditional nylons (PA6, PA6.6).


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