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An Innovative New Collaboration From MIMCO, Featuring Boundary-Pushing Sustainable Materials

Studio Visit

Sally Tabart
Wednesday 13th January 2021

‘Collaborations are important because they give us an opportunity to explore materials we otherwise wouldn’t have, and force us to look at sustainable materials for the future.’ – Sophie Begg, Senior Jewellery Designer, MIMCO.

There are many brilliant projects and initiatives in the sustainable design space that give new life to repurposed discarded materials. Less often do we come across truly innovative new materials that have the potential to revolutionalise.

UK-based designer Alice Potts has been experimenting in the field of bioplastic for the last five years, and has developed a material using discarded food and plant waste that mimics regular plastic. She’s on the radar of major Australian jewellery and accessories brand MIMCO, who have collaborated with the young designer, to incorporate this new technology into their latest capsule collection!

They first learned of Alice’s work through their longstanding partnership with the NGV, and MIMCO supported NGV commissioning Alice to create a series of biodegradable face shields for the NGV Triennial 2020 (on now!). Natural materials found by Alice in parks around London during the lockdown last year have been transformed into the bioplastic shields used in Dance Biodegradable Personal Protective Equipment (DBPPE), a work that explores the acceleration of single-use plastic for COVID-19-related PPE, and highlights the need for a shift to sustainable alternatives.

An extension of the commission is this very future-thinking collaboration between the young material innovator and the iconic Australian jewellery and accessories brand!

The limited-edition capsule collection comprises 20 beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces. Using a combination of upcycled semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls and other beads from the MIMCO archive, with bioplastic ‘resin sequins’ made by Alice, the boundary-pushing range has been handcrafted in Australia by MIMCO’s Senior Jewellery Designer, Sophie Begg.

‘[Alice] has this amazing dedication to creating bio-materials’ says Sophie. ‘Collaborations with the NGV and prominent artists like Alice are important because they give us an opportunity to explore materials we otherwise wouldn’t have, and force us to look at sustainable materials for the future.’

For Alice, the support from both MIMCO and the NGV point to an optimistic path forward. ‘There is an opportunity to support young material innovators like myself to create these more sustainable futures’, she says.

This spectacular collection showcases the potential for the future of sustainable fashion. It’s a big deal for influential businesses like MIMCO and the NGV to get behind young designers exploring innovative materials and methods  – and we’re here for it!

The Alice Potts x MIMCO is the result of a partnership between MIMCO and the NGV to celebrate the Trienniel 2020.  The limited-edition jewellery collection will be available online from January 19th, 2021 at mimco.com.au

Learn more about MIMCO’s journey to ‘Do Good’ here!

Alice Potts, the young UK biomaterial designer the NGV and MIMCO co-commissioned for the NGV Trienniel, and a jewellery collaboration

The bioplastic used in Alice Potts x MIMCO collaboration has a similar appearance to resin.

The work station of Sophie Beggs, Mimco’s Senior Jewellery Designer.

Pieces from the Alice Potts x MIMCO capsule collection.

Upcycled semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls and other beads from the MIMCO archive were combined with Alice’s bioplastic ‘sequins’ for the collection.

Sophie hand crafted each piece from the collection.

The spectacular pieces in this collaboration showcase the future of sustainable fashion!

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