The Italian Almanac

traditional wedding dress

Italian News - December 9

A wedding dress made of fabric derived from maize was modelled in Naples on Thursday as local farmers and researchers set out to show that these days anything can be biodegradable. Designed by local stylist Franco Francesca, the sleeveless white gown with its frilly full-length skirt was made completely out of a light cloth produced from 25 kilos of maize.

Experts from Naples University explained that the dress, although it looked pristine and perfect on the brunette model today, would disintegrate in a few years leaving nothing in the environment at all. The initiative was not designed to encourage brides to buy disappearing dresses, organisers said, but to show that biotechnology and agriculture together could resolve many pollution problems.

"Maize could help us solve one of the biggest pollution problems there is: the abandonment of 8 billion plastic bottles in the environment every year," Vito Amendolara head of local Coldiretti branch said. "If we made bottles made out of maize we could save 200 million litres of petroleum and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 320,000 tons a year".

Equally, maize-derived materials could be used to make shopping bags, plates, cups, cutlery and many of the other household items that go out with the rubbish and often end up lying around on the ground. The message was particularly apt in Naples, the capital of a region which faces enormous difficulties disposing of its rubbish and lurches from one trash crisis to another.