See Fashion Panel with Experts

25th July 2017     Event Fabrics Fashion Future Fabrics Expo Lenzing News Sourcing Sustainable

See Fashion works through an online platform, aspiring fashion designers submit and share their designs. See Fashion will support/manage the manufacture and distribution of their products. I, Martin Brambley, research Fellow at The Sustainable Angle was delighted to sit on the panel hosted by See Fashion. I brought with me a small selection of fabrics including 100% knitted Lenzing fibres, to exemplify the need to diversify the fashion fibre basket.     Ivana Director of see fashion started by introducing the panel consisting of: - Dr Carmen Hijosa the inventor of Piñatex - Utami Giles. Head of Sales and Marketing at Ananas Anam - Charlie Ross – Director and Founder of Offset - Andra Sandru, founder of ASx2 Acurrator Agency Through the lively discussion, hosted by Aaron Jones, many points were raised. Interestingly different members of the panel had different perspectives because of their specialisms. On difficult questions such as “What is the most sustainable Fabric?” Utami Giles - Was asked what she though was the most sustainable fabric. She referenced her own experience of visiting a small village where. Their Hair fibres were brushed from an animal, spun and woven all within the same vicinity. Utami emphasised the benefits of slow and regional processing. Not to mention this shawl is something she now treasures dearly. Charlie Ross – Was asked about what consumers can do! She responded with an anecdote about her realisation that often if she was buying in to fast fashion, someone else was getting exploited. She was not prepared to do this and therefore stopped buying clothes with fabrics that exploited people. Charlie would encourage anyone to be disciplined about this. Andra Sandru – When talking about ethical manufacturing, enlightened the group on how to persuade Buyers to buy in to more ethical manufacture. She was commissioned for a large quantity of T-shirts. The Buyer wanted Non-Organic Cotton. Andra was knowledgeable enough to emphasise the properties, lower environmental impact, and small mark-up that can be compensated by the consumer appreciation of organic garments. She therefore persuaded the buyer to spend marginally more. I think Andra is a shining example of a young fashion designer who has the knowledge to tackle and argue against profiteering.     Dr Carmen Hijosa – Spoke about supply chain transparency and revealed that Pinatex don’t allow every designer to buy their fabrics. They take the life cycle of their product so seriously and want designers who buy it to be considerate of the environmental impacts of their production. I was asked about sourcing in small quantities. I believe that Offset Warehouse is great place to buy small minimums of more sustainable Textiles, some of the mills we work with including Seidentraum, Lebenskleidung also have websites where you can order by the metre. I went on to talk about how if designers have knowledge about sustainable textiles and are prepared to ask the right questions they are able to source textiles more sustainably. Thank you so much to See Fashion for having this panel.

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We are excited to have Lenzing Group as our new sponsor. Lenzing is a world market leader in the global textile and nonwovens industry producing high-quality botanic fibers. The natural resource wood, which is the basic material for these fibers is sourced only from sustainable origins – within Austria and other countries LenzingTM fibers come from nature and as they are biodegradable go back to nature.

For years our Future Fabrics Expo has showcased dozens of mills who weave and knit fabrics made with fibers from the Lenzing Group.  Only fashion materials with a lower environmental impact are shown in the expo and many of the 3000+ fabrics from our 100 suppliers in the expo are made with LenzingTM fibers.

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We are excited to now have Lenzing Group itself involved as the fibre maker of these sustainable fabrics and knits. The fibres of Lenzing Group are made from dissolving wood pulp to standard and specialty cellulose high-quality fibres. The most important brands of the Lenzing Group are: TENCEL®, RefibraTM, Lenzing Modal® and Lenzing Viscose®.

We are delighted to have Lenzing Group as our sponsor and helping us in our effort to introduce more sustainable fibres to the fashion industry, increase visibility of sustainable innovations, inform, educate and inspire the fashion community to work with fibres and fabrics with a lower environmental impact. Lenzing Group is committed to the principles of sustainable management with very high environmental standards and can underscore this commitment with numerous international sustainability certifications for its business processes as the most sustainable company in the sector. http://www.lenzing.com/en/responsibility/economic-responsibility/certifications.html

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Lenzing’s quality and innovative strength set global standards for cellulose fibers. With 79 years of experience in fiber production, the Lenzing Group is the only company in the world which is able to produce significant volumes of all three cellulose fiber generations.

We are particularly excited by Lenzing Group’s new RefibraTM branded fiber, alyocell fiber, made from pulp that contains cotton scraps left over from cutting clothes and wood. With the  Refibra™ fiber Lenzing has initiated an important step towards circular economy for textiles. The TENCEL® fiber won the EU prize for the most ecofriendly production process thanks to its closed loop production of more than 99% and its use of bioenergy. Wood as a renewable raw material from sustainable sourcing is another important aspect when it comes to the sustainability of TENCEL® fibers. The Refibra™ fibers now combine both advantages - the recycling of cotton scraps and the most sustainable of fiber technologies. The fiber is produced in the lyocell process. Lenzing is the first manufacturer to offer cellulose fibers featuring recycled material on a commercial scale and is a pioneer with this technology.

The group is headquartered in Austria, and operates production sites in all major markets as well as has a worldwide network of sales and marketing offices.