Eco-friendly burial clothes have been designed by a Dundee student to let people use their last act to help save the planet.
Inspired by an eco-funeral, Francesca Rea realised burial options such as wicker baskets do not account for the clothes in which a person is laid to rest.
The Dundee University student was already researching sustainable fabrics as part of her textile design degree and decided to create her own range of burial clothes.
It is estimated 65% of all fibres used in the clothing industry are made from synthetic material, meaning they remain in the ground for hundreds of years after a body has decomposed and release harmful chemicals as they break down.
Francesca, 22, has used linen, cotton, bamboo, silk and natural dyes to design 100% decomposable burial wear.
She said: “The idea actually came from a family member who was telling me about a funeral they’d been to when the deceased was buried in a wicker basket.
“I thought that was great and, because we had been learning about the damage that the fashion industry does to the environment, it got me thinking about the clothes a person might choose to be buried in.
“That led to me doing this project on death, how we cling to old religious traditions around it and how we might seek to make these traditions more sustainable.
“In this sense, bio-degradable matter, once dead and decomposing, adds nutrients to the ground which allows for new life to grow.”
Francesca’s work will be showcased during the online Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design exhibition, which will be broadcast live on June 12.
Originally from Downpatrick in Northern Ireland, Francesca’s designs were inspired by her Celtic roots.
The linen she has used for her final-year project is made in Ireland and she has researched how fabric made with seaweed, hemp and nettles can be used in future.
The project is conceptual for the moment but Francesca is open to the idea of developing it after she graduates this summer.
The Art, Design and Architecture Graduate Showcase 2020 will be available to view online from June 12 at www.dundee.ac.uk/graduateshowcase