British researchers have developed an environmentally friendly garment that can simply be dissolved in water after being worn. Fashion and engineering students at Sheffield Hallam University developed the wedding dress, which can be transformed into five new fashion pieces. The dress has polyvinyl alcohol, a biodegradable substance that is used in laundry bags and washing detergents, knitted into the fabric. This enables to be dissolved into water without harming the environment. Their creation is to be featured in an forthcoming exhibition, titled, a sustainable marriage, which will be shown at the university later this month. But the payoff for the bride wearing this dress would be that they would need to wear an umbrella to their nuptials if rain was likely to spoil their big day. The design might not be to everyone’s fancy either. “The students wanted to challenge the notion that a wedding dress should only be used once and aimed to explore modern society’s attitudes towards throwaway fashion,” said Jane Blohm, a fashion lecturer. “The project is a union between art and technology which explores the possibilities of using alternative materials for our clothing. “The wedding gown is perhaps one of the most symbolic garments in (a woman’s) wardrobe and represents the challenges of ‘throwaway fashion’.” She added: “In order to reduce fashion’s impact on the environment, the fashion industry must begin to challenge conventional attitudes and practices.” A survey in 2008 found the average cost of a wedding was now more than £20,000, compared with £14,643 five years ago. The average price of a wedding dress alone was £997.