At last, change is coming – or at the very least its message is getting louder!
But is that message being heard, and more importantly, is its impact being felt in action? It appears that with each passing day the fashion industry is feeling the pressure and is realising that ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option.
As another packed September fashion month comes to a close, with shows across the globe in NYC, London, Milan, and Paris, the air is buzzing with disparity. In contrast to the usual trend-hungry anticipation, creative exuberance and “parade of excess” that Fashion Week is often celebrated for, the mood in London was instead tempered by activist group Extinction Rebellion– who were calling for an end to London Fashion Week as we know it entirely.
The growing activist group followed through with several peaceful and powerful protests throughout the week, which ranged from ‘die-ins’ to a beautifully theatrical funeral procession that laid fashion week to rest in a pair of coffins (the latter performance created an undeniable presence and much media attention in the process).
The Extinction Rebellion made an urgent and heartfelt plea prior to this fashion week:
“The UN Secretary-General has warned us that humanity faces a ‘direct existential threat’ if we do not change course by 2020. We are now LESS THAN ONE FASHION SEASON away from that date and the radical action needed to avoid runaway climate and ecological breakdown has not yet begun. We cannot rely on politicians. We need culture to lead the way….”
On the 26th of July 2019 at 5.15 pm, Extinction Rebellion sent a letter to the British Fashion Council.
“In recognition of the existential threat that faces us, we ask the British Fashion Council to be the leaders the world needs now and to cancel London Fashion Week. We ask that instead, the industry convene a People’s Assembly of industry professionals and designers as a platform to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency, to face the truth and to take action.”
The British Fashion Council agreed, stating that “we are facing a climate change emergency, and all need to act.”
The BFC’s largest ‘Positive Fashion’ showcase shows that their sustainability vision is strengthening. For example, this includes supporting and highlighting the exemplary work of progressive responsible designers such as Phoebe English, or designer activists duo Vin + Omi. However, this positive message also needs to permeate the breadth of London Fashion Week much more. As Safia Minney, pioneer and founder of fair-trade clothing company People Tree, stated, ‘I’m calling on London Fashion Week to have the strength and courage to change everything it does.’
Earlier this year the British Fashion Council launched their Institute of Positive Fashion:
“Through the Institute of Positive Fashion, the BFC aims to create an industry blueprint by bringing together expertise from different areas to help brands in the industry navigate an often confusing to understand topic and kick-start a much-needed comprehensive step-change. Informed by research, expert opinion, industry insights and the significant industry experience of individual businesses and organisations, the power of collective effort will amplify independent activity.”
There are clearly several multidimensional, industry-wide initiatives taking place to challenge the fashion industry to change radically. Although fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, it also holds huge potential for solutions to the urgent climate crisis.
However, the bold, systemic changes necessary to impel significant shifts are slow in coming, as these challenge the very economic models that feed most of the fashion consumption model. Fashion should be a cultural signifier of our times, yet the industry still adheres to an archaic system where seasonal collections are relentlessly produced from new materials, creating pressure on our planet’s resources and the people who make our clothes.
Throughout London Fashion Week, we took stock of some of the solutions proposed and examined how some London designers are pushing the boundaries of fashion and design, placing sustainability at the core of their brand ethos and operations…many have come through our doors to source materials for their collections:
Phoebe English SS20 Fashion In Times Of Emergency was a presentation of stunning creations made of reclaimed, recycled, and certified materials. Her open source approach to sustainability is endlessly admirable – throughout the presentation she shared her process and supplier contacts, acknowledging that true change will only happen if we are able to collaborate. ⠀
Her brand is entirely made in London, England. Each piece is created with close attention to detail and quality, rejecting mass-production or ‘fast’ fashion. The journey from a sketch to a garment is limited to ca. 10-15 mile radius and the entire business operates from one studio in South London. ⠀
Keeping producer responsibility at the forefront of all design decisions and thinking about the product’s impact from the beginning, middle to end-use are all key…and Phoebe excels at it!
Patrick McDowell is a creative systems thinker and designer and a force to be reckoned with. We had the privilege of spotlighting Patrick’s work at our last Expo back in January 2019. Since then, Patrick has continued to gain attention by combining his colourful and humorous personal expression with sustainable principles. The label has taken part in incredible collaborations with Swarovski and Depop, and they’ve also reclaimed deadstock materials from brands such as Burberry…proving that sustainability is anything but beige.
Felder Felder’s twin sister design duo ensure that each piece for the label stands for a story. This season you’ll see GOTS organic cotton from Modespitze featured in their Nightshade dress, and striped recycled velvet made from organic cotton by mill Lebenskleidung in their Bohemian Dream collection. Dreamy indeed!
Hanna Fiedler works with a small-scale network of manufacturers across the UK. Fielder applies traditional tailoring methods and a minimalist aesthetic to create high-quality garments whilst supporting local British craftsmanship. In her SS20 Collection, Sommerfrische, Hanna sourced luxurious sustainable solutions from mills showcased at the Future Fabrics Expo, such as Haussaman and Moos, Shokay, and [coming soon] made-to-order small quantity silks from Seidentraum. If you take a peek inside her beautifully crafted jackets and coats, you’ll see a barcode from Dormeuil which utilises BlockchainOrganica tech (by Chargeurs) to communicate their fully transparent supply chain journey to the consumer.
With an aim to create slow fashion rooted in storytelling, Azura Lovisa focuses on the relationship between the female form and materiality. Bast fibres such as ramie, cotton-hemp, hemp-linen, and pure linen from Anthyia and Bysshe were all featured in her latest collection.
BRANDS WE ADMIRE
Thousands of nettles were gathered from HRH Pince Charles’ Highgrove estate and transformed into textiles for Vin + Omi’s latest collection. Although the use of nettle for textiles dates back two thousand years, it has been largely forgotten in modern times, as its production has not been commercially scaled yet. For SS20, Vin&Omi developed two new innovative ways to process the fibre. Their signature sense of urgency permeated throughout the collection, evoking an experience that feels appropriately timely during this moment.
Vin&Omi’s LFW collection puts nettle back into the spotlight and shows the fashion industry an alternative way forward. Currently over 60% of materials used in fashion are petroleum-based (polyester, acrylic, nylon). However, nettle is a cellulose fibre that is a sustainable alternative: it grows abundantly in our climate and does not need synthetic fertilisers, pesticides or irrigation. Vin&Omi’s innovative approach to materials further emphasises how brands can diversify their fibre basket in order to challenge fashion’s heavy environmental footprint on raw materials.
NEW DESIGNERS TO WATCH
Alisa Ruzavina is a fashion and textiles designer whose work focuses on creating ways in which clothing and textiles can serve as catalysts for co-design, positive social change and increased care for the environment. Her sustainability-driven approach is also reflected in the carefully-sourced materials used for her garments, such as discarded and organic sources. Additionally, she works with Oshadi, a fashion and textile brand designed in London and crafted in India, who will be showcased at our 9th Future Fabrics Expo!
Mariah Esa is a designer trying to tackle waste within the fast fashion industry. She utilises manufacturing waste labels from a small local factory to create bespoke textiles. Her collection uses over 20,000 waste garment labels that would have been thrown away by a fashion manufacturer. The results are stunning and inherently unique!
BRIA/Techstyler is a London-based materials innovation agency aiming to transform the way fashion is designed and manufactured. Their motivation is to drastically reduce textile waste in the supply chain, reduce manufacturing lead times and improve profitability while simultaneously achieving sustainability (for people, processes and planet). We are excited to announce a partnership with Brooke Roberts-Islam’s Techstyler for the 9th Future Fabrics Expo in January 2020!
SPECIAL SHOUT OUT
Together Band is an initiative by Bottletop which aims to unite us as a global community, sharing commitments to all of the 17 UN Global Goals. The bands are handmade in Nepal and crafted using innovative and sustainable materials from upcycled ocean plastic. One kilogram of plastic is removed from marine environments whenever you buy a band. The clasp is made from decommissioned illegal firearms in the silhouette of an upcycled ring pull, in reference to the BOTTLETOP signature material.
How can we all engage with fashion in a different way?
While elements of fashion week still continued like “business as usual” — water was still served in single-use plastic bottles and the frivolity of fashion week was in full swing — there was a tangible shift in focus and the presence of various initiatives aiming to tackle our environmental crisis. Now it’s on us to continue that drive through to real, actionable change. Reimagine, reinvent, reuse, recreate, rent…and only buy something if you will treasure it forever.
What do your rain jacket, kitchen linens, sports bra, or favourite football jersey all have in common? A textile coating or finishing that you can probably feel with your hands but is invisible to the naked eye. In fact, chemical finishes are commonly added to fabrics during the final stage in order to achieve the performance attributes you love most, such as wicking sweat, softness, or water repellency.
Finishing processes are often left under the radar, which is why most people think only in terms of the textile materials themselves when it comes to the word “sustainability”. However, the chemicals used in these processes might actually be leaving a significant carbon footprint on the environment per metre of fabric.
That’s where Beyond Surface Technologies comes in. After working for decades at big chemical companies, a group of textile industry veterans wanted to approach textile chemistry innovation with the environment at the core. In 2008, they founded Beyond Surface Technologies, or Beyond, a Swiss company with the mission to advance green chemistry solutions for textiles.
Conventional textile finishes — commonly used in high-performance sportswear — are often derived from non-renewable fossil fuels such as crude oil and animal fat, and can leach hazardous toxins that pollute our waterways. Instead, Beyond works with renewable materials such as industrial plant seed and/or microalgae oils to create biobased formulations, all under their product line miDori™ (or Japanese for “green”).
According to Beyond Founder Matthias Foessel, their current miDori™ technologies provide softness and/or wicking/fast dry performance to many different fibres/fabrics/garments – without the tradeoff in performance or price tag. Their formulation is also biodegradable, which means their products will have a low impact on any subsequent recycling/upcycling process.
This helps reduce the textile industry’s carbon footprint significantly – one of the key challenges that the textile industry faces.
miDori™ products also live up to their sustainability reputation — all products are GOTS, USDA biobased, and GreenScreen certified. In particular, miDori™ bioSoft, a finish that gives a smooth hand to textiles, was the first textile chemical to reach GreenScreen Silver status and has also achieved C2C Platinum level certification.
With new material start-ups popping up every week, fashion and sportswear brands can sometimes feel overwhelmed or wary about adopting new methods to create sustainable change. But the urgent response from the industry is necessary: the IPCC 2018 report states that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5°C – anything beyond half a degree will worsen the risk of drought, floods, and heatwaves.
Realising the barriers to adoption, Beyond decided to design their products to be “plug-and-play” right from the beginning. “Our miDori™ technologies have been specifically developed for use in the textile industry. Machinery and processes conditions are just like the ones currently been used for the predominant crude oil-based chemicals. The term ‘plug-and-play’ fits very well for our products and we actually do use it ourselves when talking to the industry.”
And the industry is responding. Beyond includes household names such as Patagonia, Adidas, Levi’s, Aritzia, Coyuchi, and Puma in their brand portfolio, and is backed by Patagonia’s corporate venture capital fund Tin Shed Ventures.
“For us, performance comes first,” says Foessel. “We want our customers to buy our products because they perform and then surprise them with the fact that its performance is actually based on green chemistry. This is the only way, in our belief, that the adoption of green chemistry will further advance and eventually succeed over the current primarily crude oil-based chemicals. Price for green chemistry has been coming down steadily over the last years and will continue to do so. This allows us to offer products which as stated before perform alike and will only add marginally – if at all – to the cost of a single garment.”
The next challenge in green chemistry that the company wants to address? Sustainable water repellency for fabrics. Beyond is currently putting significant efforts into developing a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) technology alternative that is biocarbon based and PFC-free.
“It is a much sought after missing piece in the puzzle of offering more green chemistry to the textile finishing industry,” Foessel says.
By integrating sustainable innovation directly into the DNA of the business, Beyond Surface Technologies has developed a business model that can help ignite industry change.
Throughout June, our schedules have been packed with presenting and moderating at many different conferences, educational workshops, events and talks in London – all these prestigious events were dedicated to sustainability – a clear sign that the fashion industry is finally putting sustainability centre stage where it belongs, and no longer considers it as a ‘trend’, or just a ‘box to be ticked’ in the corporate reports. However, a sense of urgency to act quickly and decisively is still too often lacking..
Fran Burns, The Store, 180 Strand
4 June 2019
We were honoured to collaborate with Francesca Burns, Fashion Stylist, who invited us to hold a workshop at The Store X for her peers, fellow stylists and friends in the fashion industry. We valued the opportunity to engage with stylists directly as they are uniquely placed to direct fashion brands towards more sustainable practice. They often take on a role essentially consulting brands, holding the power to engage said brands, asking questions, recommending more sustainable and responsibly produced materials, helping highlight and communicate fashion that has been created responsibly and sustainably.
Fashion is a key cultural communicator and powerful agent for change that goes beyond simply what we wear. Stylists are working right at that important stage of connection and communication with brands, holding a unique potential to drive engagement with sustainability.
supported by Lenzing Group, Old Trewman Brewery
2 June – 5 June 2019
The Sustainable Angle’s Curator and Educational Consultant – Amanda Johnston – hosted a daily educational workshop at Graduate Fashion Week’s newly launched “Considered Design Hub”, powered by Farfetch. She presented our “8 to Create” systems thinking framework, explored material innovations such as
Tencel ™ Lyocell using Refibra™ technology by Lenzing Group, and showcased how to exercise creative thinking when working with sustainable materials as per the dozens of Tencel™ fabrics on display.
The “Considered Design Hub” was introduced as a response to the increase in graduates focusing on sustainability and the need for more ethical and sustainable practices within the fashion industry. Graduate Fashion Week is the world’s largest event for BA Fashion talent, featuring 25 catwalk shows and stands, alongside a schedule of talks and workshops from leading industry names.
A Stylus Event, County Hall
6 June 2019
Decoded Future 2019 had the underlying theme of… you guessed it! Sustainability. With the aim of shaping a collective vision of what a more sustainable vision could look like, the conference examined everything from the circular economy to the impacts of technological innovations. Our Founder and Director Nina Marenzi moderated the panel “Sharing Is Caring: Is The Second-Hand Economy A Shift In The Shoppers Mindset Or Just A Desire For Discounted Designer Products?” Through questioning and discussion with Katy Lubin, VP communications for Lyst, Sara Arnold, Founder of Higher Studio, and Clara Chappaz, Chief Growth Officer of Vestiaire Collective, the panel discussed the ins and outs of the sharing economy. With consumers continuing to strive for a more sustainable and collaborative way of living (it’s estimated that by 2023 the second-hand market will be worth $51billionUSD), the panel unpacked whether the key solution lies in innovative rental models. Seeing as, on average, over 80% of garments are worn less than three times, there is promise in alternative systems which create a variance in our relationship with our clothes, allowing space to experience luxury at a lower cost and higher speed.
organised by CoGo x Google for Startups Campus
11 June 2019
During London Tech Week, Google Startups UK and Ethical Living App CoGo hosted an event examining how innovation has the potential to create a sustainable fashion that ‘doesn’t cost the earth.’ Our Founder and Director Nina Marenzi was invited to moderate the panel on how innovation is creating a more sustainable footprint in the clothes and ornaments we wear – from diamonds to sweaters and handbags. Kirsty Emery, Co-Founder of UNMADE, Ben Gleisner, Founder and CEO of CoGo, Laura Chavez, Founder of Lark & Berry, and Leanne Kemp, Founder of Everledger joined together to discuss how each of the panellists’ companies is placing sustainability at the centre of its business. From using decommissioned fire hoses in creating accessories (Elvis and Kresse), to using blockchain for tracing natural diamonds (Everledger), to on-demand, customisable design (UNMADE), to discussing lab-grown diamonds avoiding potential problems with mining (Lark & Berry), and finally an app connecting conscious consumers to sustainable businesses in their area (CoGo) – sustainability was the key driver for these innovative and tech solutions!
French Chamber of Commerce, Spring Studios
13 June 2019
London Luxury Think Tank, a spin-off of French Chamber Great Britain, assembles leaders, pioneers and experts from across the fields of Luxury, Fashion, Technology, Research & Innovation, CSR, Ethics and Sustainability to share ideas, expertise and insights. It was wonderful to be a part of it again, now for their second edition, at Spring Studios, where the key focus was sustainability. Our Founder & Director Nina Marenzi was on the panel discussing “What makes a product sustainable & ethical?” Together with Nicolas Gerlier, CEO of La Bouche Rouge, Sylvie Bénard, Head of Environmental Sustainability at LVMH, and Pierre-Alexandre Bapst, Sustainability Director of Hermès, on a panel moderated by Brook Roberts-Islam Co-Director of BRIA. La Bouche Rouge aims to combat harmful plastic pollution of the cosmetics industry by implementing innovative chemical formulation of their purely vegan lipstick which is free of microplastics commonly used in industry, all packaged in a luxurious refillable case. While Hermès’ approach is to put emphasis on heritage, artisanal skills, promoting high quality and longevity of product life cycle. This conversation between key industry players highlighted the fact that within sustainability there is often not a singular, simple solution. There is always a necessity for nuanced, multifaceted, multidisciplinary approaches depending on the ethos of the brand.
Jumeirah Carlton Tower
18 June 2019
Kicking off with a Keynote by our advisory board member, Arizona Muse, The Telegraph’s Responsible Fashion Forum was a day jam-packed with discussions around transparency, traceability and sustainability across the supply chain.
Across the board there was a consensus that Environmental and Social Sustainability go hand in hand, the conversations should not be siloed. This was essential in TSA’s Amanda Johnston’s panel discussion (together with Patsy Perry, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester, and moderated by Lily Gray, Head of Partnerships, First Mile) where the starting point of discussion was the effects of chemical usage on the environment. Crucially, it was a question from the audience that highlighted that the true effect of chemical usage is on the people who were not present in that room.
Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population, and more than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or the sea without any pollution removal (United Nations, 2018). Most textile processing is heavily concentrated in regions where water quality is already low, putting vulnerable populations at risk.
The perfect finale was hearing from Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP: Coincidentally the conference took place on the very day of the disappointing decision by the UK Parliament to reject every recommendation from the Fixing Fashion report proposed last February by said committee. This is directly in contradiction with the announcement the week before when the same government enshrined in law that the UK will have “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We commend Mary Creagh for her work and tenacity: When asked “What’s next?” by a member of the audience, she urged everyone in the room to keep pushing for sustainable practice because the voice of the consumer is next, together making it impossible for the government not to listen.
As ever, at The Sustainable Angle, we are presenting thousands of innovative sustainable textiles solutions to the fashion industry that are commercially available. We have been researching and gathering these materials since 2010: we are busier than ever filtering through materials that are produced more sustainably and responsibly in order to ensure they really do have a lower environmental impact. They are in our London studio: see them at one of our masterclasses or book a visit to one of our workshops and will, of course, be showcased at the 9th Future Fabrics Expo 29-30th January 2020 – save the date! Early Bird Registration will open soon…
When Carol Chyau discovered yak down during her travels to Yunan, China in 2006, she knew that the best way to help catalyze the growth of social enterprise in China was to start one of her own. Chyau founded Shokay, a textile company which crosses disciplines and geographies to bring premium yak down products to market and social change to the communities behind them.
Yak fibres are sustainable alternatives to cashmere and wool — they are 30% warmer than wool, 1.6 times more breathable than cashmere and have a fine, smooth texture. As a comparison, an individual yak fibre is 18-20 microns with a length of 30-40mm, and cashmere is between 14-30 microns and 20.5-90mm long.
Taking inspiration from the qualities of the yak fibre, Shokay has developed an extensive range of fabrics, yarns and hand-knitting yarns in 100% pure yak down for luxury outerwear, as well as in unique yak blends composing of wool, organic cotton, in-transition cotton, hemp, Tencel™, and recycled PET.
Animal fibres often get a bad reputation for having high environmental impacts due to land use, water consumption, animals feed and chemicals required for production (EAC “Fixing Fashion”, 2019). More importantly, animal farming for textiles brings up several issues surrounding their welfare, ethical treatment and effects on biodiversity.
However, with sustainable practices, government policies, and international support on-the-ground training for local herders in place, animal fibres can be a sustainable choice as they have high-performance technical properties and very low end-of-life impacts on the planet (compared to other natural fibres such as conventional cotton, or synthetic fibres such as virgin polyester).
Shokay’s social enterprise model leaves a positive social impact which empowers young Tibetans and the livelihoods of Tibetan herders. The yak fibres used in Shokay’s products are sourced directly from Tibetan herders, enabling them to earn a living while preserving their traditional herding and community lifestyle.
The boom of the animal fibre industries has led to overgrazing and grassland desertification in many areas across China and Mongolia. As yak fibre enters the fashion industry, sustainable herding practices must come hand-in-hand with economic growth.
Currently, yaks are farmed on a small scale, and as the demand and awareness for yak fibres grow, Shokay’s efforts in building sustainable practices for yaks and the herding communities now will allow the yak market to scale in a healthy manner.
Yaks are low-carbon emission animals. They are currently raised by Tibetan herders with a semi-nomadic lifestyle, which prevents overgrazing of land; their tongues are short, therefore they do not pull grass from the root when feeding which is beneficial for grassland conservation; the hand-combed method used during harvesting is not harmful or invasive for the animals; the relationship between yak and herder is personal and animals are treated as an extension of family and livelihood.
One per cent of Shokay’s sales revenue goes towards their Community Development Fund, empowering the communities in their supply chain. Over 800 herders in Western China have benefitted from Shokay’s healthcare programs. A projected 500 tonnes of yak will be sourced in the next 3 years, with the opportunity to positively impact one million Tibetans. In addition, Shokay plans to facilitate and invest in workshops for animal husbandry and land conservation in order to develop the knowledge and skills of the community and future generations.
Carol Chyau’s social enterprise has drawn attention for its vision — in 2006 her business idea won first place at the Harvard Business Plan Competition. She was selected as an Echoing Green Fellow in 2008 and a finalist for Cartier’s Women Initiative. Chyau was also named one of Forbes’ Top 30 Entrepreneurs under 30 and one of Top 5 Social Entrepreneurs at the Chivas Venture Competition.
Shokay believes that yak can really play a part in the future landscape of materials. Since yak is not yet commercialised, the company has spent several years developing a traceable supply chain for their yarns and fabrics, even creating the first yak grading system. By working closely with their supply chain and industry association partners, Shokay aims to set the standards for yak collection, segmentation and processing to facilitate sustainable scaling and prevent negative practices that might disrupt a sustainable yak fibre supply chain in China.
The company believes that the fashion industry needs to address our pressing environmental and social challenges by integrating change at every level of the supply chain: from sourcing sustainable raw materials, to working with certified mills, and audited garment factories, to marketing campaigns with other leading sustainable fashion brands that educate end consumers regarding the urgency and importance of knowing where your products come.
As for what’s next, Shokay has been busy collaborating and adopting holistic approaches to the way they source fibres and develop products.
Last year, Shokay signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ICIMOD. Based in Nepal, ICIMOD is an intergovernmental organization that works to develop a sustainably-sound mountain ecosystem in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region that can help improve the living standards of mountain populations and sustain vital ecosystem services for the 1.3 billion people living downstream. Shokay is exploring opportunities to build best practices for the livelihoods of yaks and the herding communities, coupled with land preservation in the mountainous areas. Shokay became a member of Textile Exchange and exhibited at the Future Fabrics Expo by The Sustainable Angle.
The company also launched Shokay Lab, a community of brands, designers, and manufacturers that share resources and jointly develop products that are thoughtfully made. The creative social enterprise also has plans to launch an accelerator program to empower material innovation.
Seems like a strong contender for the future of fabrics.
Shokay will be presenting a joint masterclass with The Sustainable Angle on 9 May 2019, from 9:30-12: 30 pm in our London Showroom, W10. Registration details TBC.
We’re keen to get the industry to look beyond lowering their environmental impact and aim to contribute positively to nature and communities. Our popular seminar series programme returned this year to our 8th Future Fabrics Expo, gathering some of the most influential organisations in sustainable textiles and fashion to discuss the ways in which our industry can help address the issues our planet faces today.
Speakers ranged from business leaders, academics, entrepreneurs, fashion brands big and small, to fashion activists and non-profit organisations from our community network.
This year’s series — which ran alongside the event throughout both days — was our first partnership with G-Star RAW. The programme drew in a captive audience with sold-out seat registrations for all 12 discussions. The seminar engagement is a testament to the collective force of our industry: the room was filled with changemakers who know that only with leadership and action can we shift outmoded behaviours within the fashion system.
Clare Press, Australian VOGUE’s Sustainability Editor-at-Large and presenter of The Wardrobe Crisis Podcast, moderated a panel discussion on how suppliers and mills were solving issues around waste and recycling. The roundtable featured representatives from the expo’s core exhibitors, including Besim Özek from Bossa Denim (a company based in Turkey that is applying post-consumer recycled denim concepts to help fight landfill waste); Tada Satoshi from Toyoshima (a Japanese company that is creating dyestuff using by-products from food manufacturing); Fabrizio Tesi from Comistra (an Italian company that recycles and regenerates textile waste with a focus on wool), and Tommaso Rulli for Profits Fund Global. One of the most interesting points which our international panelists agreed on is that increased government involvement could help drive the future of the textile recycling industry. For example, tax incentives, duty-free imports, or legislation around the incineration of overstock fabric can help empower the circular economy.
Reward systems and an increased role by the government were also suggestions by panelists Edwina Ehrman, Senior Curator at the V&A and Curator of Victoria & Albert Museum’s Fashioned From Nature, and Ben Gleisner, Co-founder of Connecting Good (CoGo) and Conscious Consumer Guide. The discussion, moderated by ethical fashion journalist Bel Jacobs, examined whether a labelling system united by consumers, government and industry can help shoppers buy clothes that don’t cost the planet.
Ambassador for The Sustainable Angle Arizona Muse moderated an exciting panel discussion with designer Tiziano Guardini and Adriana Galijasevic, Denim and Sustainability Expert at G-Star RAW. The discussion looked at the challenges and opportunities that both large companies and independent fashion labels face when integrating sustainability into their brand and supply chain. “Sustainability is not a challenge for us, but a springboard for innovation,” says Galijasevic. G-Star RAW has recently pioneered their own denim fabric that is Cradle-to-Cradle Certified™ Gold, one of the most rigorous certifications.
Integrating sustainable innovation that is based on the circular model is also an economic advantage for businesses, as discussed in the panel with Lukas Fuchs from Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Sergi Masip from Hallotex, a Barcelona-based textile mill. Fuchs suggested that when brands adopt rental models (i.e. Rent the Runway), users can feed back into the design process. Hallotex relies on material feedback and has created a process called The Loop that involves recycling post-consumer waste textiles. “If we tried to enter more waste and fabrics back into the loop that we’re introducing, we can have a huge impact on the society of which our industry is based,” says Masip. “The industry is waiting for the super change, but in order to get to circularity we need to make gradual steps forward.” Fuchs adds, “This is a systems challenge so we need to collaborate along the value chain…only together can we meet the scale of the challenge.”
After each panel discussion, we asked our speakers how they thought fashion could positively impact people and the planet.
“We need a big cultural change in the fashion industry…We are looking for a fashion industry that is more inclusive and a force for good and for that we need to change its nature, ” says Orsola de Castro, Founder and Creative Director of Fashion Revolution. De Castro wants us to question what can we do with our own behaviours to usher in the technology movement as sustainable material alternatives are being developed.
For some of our speakers, creativity in the design phase can help make fashion a force of positivity. “The role of the designer is completely changing,” says Professor Dilys Williams, Director of Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion, UAL. “We were defined as being problem solvers…but now designers are starting to think about being possibility creators. They’re really considering what is important to them, what they value, in terms of their own identity, in terms of justice — climate justice, social justice, gender justice — and that is meaning a different starting point of design.”
Emma Scarf, Ventures Analyst at Fashion for Good, agrees. “When we see these new materials and dye processes coming up, designers are like ‘How can we use this?’ rather than being ‘That’s not the status quo’. They’re really interested to see how this can then be used and implemented in the supply chain. I think that creative force is what’s going to make the fashion industry more sustainable.”
This means that the designer’s creative process involves a better understanding of how the fabrics they choose can help lower environmental impact. “For most fashion brands, more than half of their environmental impact stems from the materials they use and our goal is to empower brands with the solutions to change this,” says Nina Marenzi, Director of The Sustainable Angle.
Claire Bergkamp, Global Director of Sustainability and Innovation at Stella McCartney, notes that the future of fabrics for fashion must be approached from two different lenses. “The first half is questioning what new fibres and technologies we need to replace those that are out-of-date, harmful, or unnecessary? We have to replace them with innovative, sustainable alternatives. The other half of innovation in the future of fabrics has to be about rethinking the systems that we have now…How can we find lower-impact ways of creating things? If we’re going to be relying on agriculture, how do we use farming as a force for good? How do we use climate positive farming or sustainable forestry as something that can disrupt the damage that we’ve done today?”
While sustainable change may seem like a daunting and overwhelming task that tampers the creative process, asking the right questions, thinking outside-the-box and taking small actionable steps can help pave the way. “With the Future Fabrics Expo, we wanted to make sustainability within the creative process as accessible as possible so that the designers themselves feel able to drive the revolution,” Marenzi adds.
For more, watch the interviews with our seminar panelists
In case you missed out on any of the discussions or would like to re-watch them, visit our exclusive access link to stream the seminar videos.
Photographs are copyright Suzanne Plunkett 2019 ©. For photographic enquiries please call Suzanne Plunkett or email email@example.com
Video Production: The Kushner Productionz
You’d be hard-pressed to find a closet without a single piece of clothing made from denim. According to FashionUnited Business Intelligence, 1.25 billion jeans are sold annually worldwide, with women owning 7 pairs of jeans on average and men owning 6 pairs. As one of the most purchased fabrics on the planet, denim has a huge impact on our resources. It takes 20,000 litres of water to produce one kilogram of cotton for a single pair of jeans. Factor in the hazardous health effects caused by indigo dyeing and denim finishing, and you have a basic wardrobe staple that affects both people and planet at a very large scale.
One of the mills investing in innovative technology to help lower the environmental impact of denim manufacture is Advance Denim, a core exhibitor at our recent Future Fabrics Expo in January 2019. Founded in 1987 in China, Advance Denim is a key player in the industry with an annual output of up to 40 million yards of fabric. With sustainable initiatives such as aniline-free dyeing with Archroma’s Denisol® Pure Indigo 30 liq, Zero Cotton fabric made with TENCEL™ fibres, and Greenlet™ ecore yarn, the company’s commitment to constantly improve their production processes and techniques dispels several myths around sustainable manufacture in China.
For our latest Masterclass, we asked Enrico Forin from Advance Denim to be our guest speaker and discuss the realities of producing more sustainable denim in China, as well as the changes the industry has seen within the past few years. We caught up with Forin after the workshop to learn a little more about the company and their ethos.
The Sustainable Angle: What are the main products Advance Denim creates, and what key aspects make them more sustainable than conventionally-produced denim?
Enrico Forin: Since 1987, Advance Denim has been producing a wide range of indigo products, from traditional denim, intricate jacquards, smooth flexible coatings to real indigo knits. Currently, Advance Denim is focusing considerable efforts to produce a wide array of fabrics in the most sustainable way possible, by applying creative and technical expertise to solve manufacturing challenges affecting our natural resources, such as water, energy and waste. We are planning on reaching our sustainability goals by using eco contents to build the fabrics as well as cleaning up the entire manufacturing process.
TSA: How can fashion have a positive impact on nature and communities?
EF: More and more fashion brands now are sensitive to the ecological impacts of the fabric, accessories and trims that make up their collections. These brands are now making a conscious effort to source recycled materials wherever possible. This is already a considerable step forward and will have a positive impact since less natural resources will be consumed. This reduced consumption of raw materials will consequently benefit communities, especially in locations on the planet where raw materials are scarce.
TSA: What do you think is the biggest obstacle to becoming a more sustainable and less harmful industry?
EF: I don’t see any major obstacles that could block the improvement of sustainability in our industry. Since there are sustainable chemicals, equipment and technologies that are currently available in the market, it is up to each company to invest in a sustainable future. We believe that it is just a matter of ethics and social responsibility.
TSA: What are the goals and plans moving forward for Advance Denim?
EF: Advance Denim has a detailed and aggressive sustainability initiative. We are planning to have green fibres account for 90% of our products in the next 5 years. We will also be investing in new technologies throughout the entire production line that will further reduce water and energy consumption. Though Advance Denim will be making a considerable investment in new sustainable technologies, we are attempting to limit the effect that these investments have on the cost of the final product, and in some cases, the effect may be cost-neutral.
For more information about Advance Denim, visit http://www.advancedenim.com/
on 14 March 2019, London, UK
It was wonderful to be part of this sold-out event, and to join the conversation examining the challenges and transitions to a more sustainable future for fashion. Over 200 professionals from leading brands and retailers, supply chain specialists, and materials and technology innovators gathered together to explore how to bring sustainability initiatives to the top of the agenda, and unlock the business potential of these initiatives within fashion.
The event opened with MP Mary Creagh’s dynamic address on why fashion needs fixing. She presented the case for an urgent call to action by the fashion industry, outlining its huge environmental impact, its effects on overconsumption, waste creation and workers’ rights. Creagh shared the findings of the Environmental Audit Committee’s recent report ‘Fixing Fashion‘ — which she chairs — and urged the fashion industry to step up its game in order to meet global targets on climate change, foster sustainable development, and address workers’ welfare. The report proposed sustainable solutions that can involve legislation, such as a 1p charge per item of clothing in the UK to help fund better waste collection and recycling systems.
“Fashion businesses need to sign up to UK’s sustainable action plan,” says Creagh. “Every fashion business should operate under a license that includes targets on carbon, waste and water. Thirsty crops will be taxed eventually.”
The day offered a packed schedule of talks, panels and Dragons Den-style innovation pitches. Discussions involved some of the most progressive and visionary fashion brands and retailers, leading not-for-profit bodies and sustainability champions from around the world big and small, such as Fashion Revolution, Kering, Burberry, and many more.
Forum for the Future‘s Sally Uren urged creatives to design for nothing less than systemic change, while Adidas x Parley for the Oceans presented their AIR strategy (“Avoid, Intercept and Redesign”), an inspiring example to others in the industry.
Katharine Hamnett, one of the original fashion activists, said, “Brands have to be forced to produce more sustainably. Natural fibres are carbon sinks, they cut pollution, and build employment opportunities. Above all, citizens have to be more politically engaged! Ask shop assistants questions, and demand that more organic cotton is used.”
The Sustainable Angle showcased a selection of commercially available material solutions and upcoming innovations from the Future Fabrics Expo, alongside our partner Lenzing Group.
At the conference, Curator Amanda Johnston presented The Sustainable Angle’s ‘8 to Create: Principles for People, Planet and Responsible Prosperity’ to support informed sourcing and design systems thinking. This was followed by a conversation with Tamsin Lejeune from Common Objective. Tamsin and Amanda discussed their perspectives on current and future materials impacts and how their respective projects contribute to minimising the environmental and social impacts of our industry.
A huge congratulations to the Drapers team for coordinating this exciting event that supports the transition to a cleaner, greener future. It is great to see how all members of the industry can make positive contributions throughout the fashion supply chain.
Our 8th Future Fabrics Expo returned last week on 24-25th January 2019 for its most ambitious showcase yet!
Our biggest-ever edition of the Expo took place in the sleek, 22,000 sq ft venue of Victoria House Basement in central London, and welcomed more than 2500 visitors over the two days. The turnout and engagement truly exceeded our expectations, with a record number of visitors ranging from luxury brands to high street retailers to startups, academics and students.
As the largest dedicated showcase of sustainable materials for the fashion and textile industry, the 8th Future Fabrics Expo featured over 5000 commercially-available fabrics and materials from suppliers who are offering innovative solutions with a low environmental footprint. For the first time, we showcased a dozen best practice suppliers in their own stand.
The two-day event is unique: a curated showcase which displays educational background information alongside thousands of materials. This enables fashion industry professionals to engage with positive and informed decision-making. We provide tools and advise on responsible practices, promoting a diverse material future. Each material in our showcase is individually labelled with sustainability information, as well as its key environmental criteria, which we developed with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion back in 2011.
As the consumer demand for sustainable products continues to heighten, the fashion supply chain is responding by finding solutions and collaborative opportunities that address the environmental damages caused by our industry.
To support this growing conversation, The Sustainable Angle expanded its 8th expo to showcase the whole sustainability journey, from fibre to garment. This year, we featured 12 best-practice core exhibitors and manufacturers in their own booth, a bigger Innovation Hub that included a collaboration with Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator Programme, an information zone, and a fashion brands space. Our popular seminar series hosted a dozen discussions with 26 speakers to a captive audience of 250!
The awareness around this year’s 8th Future Fabrics Expo is evident that sustainability is no longer a “trend” or option, but a critical imperative for one of the most polluting industries on the planet. “This culture has to change. We need to be more curious: read the label, ask questions and research the brand’s sustainability credentials,” says Nina Marenzi, Founder and Director of The Sustainable Angle.
Through the resources and activities showcased at the Expo, The Sustainable Angle aims to promote and connect materials suppliers with visionary designers and brands, who realise that fashion can have a positive impact upon nature and communities by working with safe, renewable materials and responsible practices throughout the supply chain.
See the core exhibitors and sponsors that were shown alongside the curated showcase of 5000 materials:
Lenzing Group with TENCEL™ // Hallotex// Toyoshima // Nova Kaeru // Shokay // Advance Denim // Coccccon Crafts Loom // Beyond Surface Technologies // Mozartex // Comistra // Santoni // Procalcado // Bossa Denim // Organic Textile Company // Lebenskleidung //
Thank you to all who helped us organise and support this 8th edition, and a SPECIAL thank you to the kind support of all our wonderful interns and volunteers helping during the last few days leading up to the expo.
Our favourite seminar quotes:
Full video seminar series available for streaming soon…sign up for our mailing list to stay updated!
STAY CONNECTED >>> to find out more about our upcoming masterclasses on sustainable materials for fashion, resuming March 2019 in London.
A big thank you to:
Avery Dennison// Holition // Fashion for Good // Jeffies // Journey // ModusBPCM // Plates London // Perception Live // Domaine La Ferriere // Elf Ideas // Design Surgery // Showhow // Femi Fem // Papertown // Greenhouse Graphics // Get a Grip Studio
All images copyright2019© photographed by Suzanne Plunkett.
It’s finally here! This week, our Future Fabrics Expo will be unveiling the largest dedicated showcase of commercially-available fabrics and materials with a lower environmental footprint. Join our expo to discover innovative and sustainable solutions for fashion, as we highlight the whole journey from fibre to garment.
The 8th Future Fabrics Expo will be displaying thousands of fabrics and materials at a new venue of 22,000 sq ft:
Victoria House Basement
Bloomsbury Square, entrance Southampton Row
London, WC1B 4DA
Nearest tube station: Holborn station, Central line.
Register for your ticket today, and keep scrolling below to get a preview of all our Future Fabrics Expo highlights!
For the first time, the 8th Future Fabrics Expo will be featuring two curated areas dedicated to fashion brands who are integrating sustainability at the core of their businesses:
Supported by Lenzing Group:
Mara Hoffman / Chen Wen / Armedangels / Giray Sepin / Rajesh Pratap Singh / Soster Studio
Curated by Arizona Muse x RCM Studio:
Bethany Williams / Tiziano Guardini / Patrick McDowell / Swedish Stockings / Mother of Pearl / Maggie Marilyn / Kitx / Aiayu
8th Future Fabrics Expo seminar series in partnership with G-Star RAW:
Our popular seminar programme will run alongside the expo throughout both days, featuring speakers from some of the most influential organisations in sustainable textiles and fashion. Speakers and panel discussions will be introduced by Clare Press, presenter of the Wardrobe Crisis podcast and Australian VOGUE’s Sustainability Editor-at-Large, Arizona Muse, model and sustainability campaigner, and Bel Jacobs, ethical fashion journalist and former fashion editor for Metro.
The thousands of materials on show at the #FutureFabricsExpo represent true alternatives to conventional fabrics. Discover materials such as:
• Biodegradable Tencel™
• Recycled wool
• Low-impact leather
• Eco responsible viscose
• Organic cotton
• Sustainable denims
• Vegan leather
• Recycled pre/post-consumer textiles
• Low impact linen, hemp and silks
We’re very excited about our collaboration with Holition for the 8th Future Fabrics Expo to showcase the materials of tomorrow. We will be unveiling an exciting projection mapping that sheds light on the innovation in textiles. From mushrooms to algae, the materials of tomorrow will reinvent the clothing of today.#MaterialiseTheFuture
Holition is an award-winning creative innovation studio, creating bespoke experiences for pioneering brands. Discover more about them here.
During the festive season we are bombarded with even more pressure to buy, update our party looks and overload our wardrobes, encouraging rapidly increasing clothing waste. According to the report A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion’s Future published by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation in 2017, 53 million tonnes of fibres are produced annually for the clothing industry, and 73% of garments end up either landfilled or incinerated after consumer use.
At this time of year retailers slash their prices in the sales; bargains are alluring, and we are made to believe that we really need that cheap piece of clothing, but we want to explore how to love and enjoy fashion by building a Sustainable Wardrobe:
• If you buy, choose only items that can create new looks by complementing what is already in your wardrobe. Before purchasing, think about how many times you will likely wear the new item. The #30wears rule suggests that when shopping, ask yourself if you would wear an item at least 30 times – but aim higher, we would say at least #300!
• Buy smart. Products at low prices are of low value and made cheaply. Invest in quality items that last and which can be resold. Check out The RealReal, Vestiare Collective and similar new secondary market companies #invest
• Get creative: Create your own look and wardrobe that includes vintage and secondhand items, don’t buy a whole look, get #creative
• Buy from brands who integrate sustainability at the core of their business – this means brands who not only produce responsibly with sustainable materials but who also ensure fair labour practices. Check their websites #investigate
• Repair– use your needle and thread to mend your loved clothes. Find a local tailor to help if needed. You can even get creative here by customizing and adding elements of your personality or by updating the silhouettes of your garments. #mend #fix #reinvent
• Choose only items that are of good quality and can be loved for a long time or eventually passed down to family and friends- those pieces have emotional resonance and amazing stories attached to them! #handmedown #secondhand
• Look at care labels, check out a brand’s website and search for information about sustainability – ask store staff for more information about the products that you’re buying
• Prolong the life of your clothes by following the washing instructions inside. The Carbon Trust reports that 1.5% of global production of CO2 emissions occur in the consumer washing/laundering process. Check garment labels to care for your clothes properly, skip the dryer and opt for line drying, use cold water settings and wash less often so we can protect our world’s drinking water.
• Invest in filtration gadgets such as this gadget to help fight the microfibres problem that comes from washing our clothes. Synthetic fabrics shed tiny plastic microfibres when washed – 250,000 plastic microfibres can be released after just one washing of a synthetic fleece jacket (EMPOWER @filterfibers) and up to 700,000 microfibres can shed from a typical 6kg (13lb) household load (BBC News). It is not perfect but improves the situation.
• Clothes swapping and rental systems: Hold clothes swaps with your friends, or join designer rental companies such as Rent the Runway, DrexCode, or Armarium. London-based Higher Studio offers more avant-garde choices for the artistically inclined.
• Consider local brands and materials as it also helps reduce your garment’s carbon footprint in the shipping and delivery process. #local
For a quick 5-minute snapshot to building a sustainable wardrobe, see Anuschka Rees‘s beautiful visualisation below:
Discover sustainable materials, fibres and the innovations that will influence the future of a more sustainable fashion system at our upcoming 8th Future Fabrics Expo on 24-25 Jan, 2018.
Textile Exchange’s 2018 Textile Sustainability Conference in Milan, Italy October 22-24 2018
The Sustainable Angle showcased a selection of materials from our extensive collection at the Future Fabrics Expo. The theme of the Global Conference was “United by Action: Accelerating Sustainability in Textiles & Fashion”.
Our partnership with the conference aimed to generate greater industry awareness about the ever-increasing range of innovations in sustainable materials currently available. Examples included Toyoshima’s food waste textiles, Shokay Lab’s yak down fabrics, and from Bossa Denim; low impact denim. The Indian subcontinent presents Cocccon’s GOTS certified silk, and South American ingenuity brings Nova Kaeru’s fish skins, as bovine leather alternatives. These were just a few of the diverse examples showcased from our collection.
The Textile Exchange conference was attended by high-profile leaders and professionals working in corporate social responsibility and sustainability, sourcing and supply chains, product, business development, design, education and advocacy.
Critical climate change issues around water saving, recycling and the circular economy imperative took centre stage during the seminars, while roundtable discussions covered topics around understanding sustainable practices for the production of organic cotton, the place of recycled polyester, what responsible wool production means, and the advent of the bio-synthetics era.
Pertaining to this year’s most important topic —water scarcity — Jason Morrison (Head of CEO Water Mandate and President of the Pacific Institute) discussed the apparel sector’s water stewardship opportunity to help fight climate change. “Sometimes you have to expand the problem in order to solve it,” Morrison says. He references how “by 2050, global water withdrawals are projected to increase by some 55% due to the growing demand from manufacturing (400%)” (OECD, 2012). Morrison suggests that businesses can: (1) develop water strategies around Sustainable Development Goal 6; (2) talk in the same language as their civil partners, and (3) report annually to the CEO Water Mandate.
Renewable natural fibres were also central topics, particularly around how the entire supply chains of responsible wool and sustainable cotton need to be addressed. Sometimes with sustainability, we often become too dependent on statistics or rating systems, when in reality it is important to look at the impacts of a natural fibre across all stages of its life cycle, from fibre source and processing through to garment.
One example was provided, in the roundtable discussion “Wool: The Facts Behind the Figures”, where we were taken on a tour of the wool supply chain to learn more about the impacts at each stage of wool production: from animal welfare and the impacts of grazing, on land health at the farm, chemical use during processing through to end of life (and recycling). In the roundtable “The Sustainable Cotton Change Agents”, discussions around how cultivating healthy and resilient cotton communities can help lift farmers and families out of poverty.
In “A Conversation on Sustainability in Luxury”, Dr. Helen Crowley (Head of Sustainable Sourcing Innovation from Kering) emphasised the luxury industry’s responsibility to keep quality alive. She urged that social communities can be preserved by finding partners with historical expertise and craftsmanship such as in Italy. She also discussed that in order to reverse the looming environmental crisis, biodiversity will be their main priority over the next 2 years and climate change over the next 10-12 years.
With the new Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action formally launching soon at the United Nations COP24 meeting in December, the conversation around sustainable sourcing and production practices in the fashion industry is truly more expansive and inclusive than ever before. We were delighted to have been able to join these relevant conversations about how creating material change can address climate change. We look forward to next year’s Textile Exchange in Vancouver!
For more material discoveries, register and join us at the Future Fabrics Expo.
We love colour! But at what cost? The fashion industry invests extensive research into colour trends each season, which means textile dyeing and processing plays a vital role in the supply chain. Yet how much water is used (and often polluted) in order to achieve the colours we love so much?
Traditional textile and fibre processing — which includes dyeing, printing and finishing — is intensive in water and energy consumption. According to WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), the water footprint in the UK alone is 2,534m3 of water for every tonne of clothing used in one year, with 318m3 /tonne at the processing and manufacturing stage (WRAP, 2012) — that means the water used in processing and manufacturing is almost the size of an average swimming pool!
Water is one of The Sustainable Angle’s main environmental concerns, and a key criterion when it comes to selecting suppliers for our Future Fabrics Expo. In support of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation, our ‘Water’ criterion encompasses the reduction of water use and wastage across the textile supply chain, the treatment and filtering of effluent and wastewater, and the use of exemplary wet processing methods.
Addressing water scarcity and pollution are important global issues, along with the effect upon biodiversity and associated human health risks. Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population, and more than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or the sea without any pollution removal (United Nations, 2018). Most textile processing is heavily concentrated in regions where water quality is low, putting vulnerable populations at risk.
Earlier this month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a landmark report warning that there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C. At 1.5C the proportion of the global population exposed to water stress could be 50% lower than at 2C. (The Guardian, 2018)
However, new solutions and innovations have made dramatic improvements in the reduction of water consumption and chemical pollution. These innovations consider water use, chemicals, the ingredients dye pigments are made from, where dye is added, and in which stage of the process.
Reinventing the way denim is dyed is one way to address these challenges. Archroma’s Advanced Denim processes use a new eco-conscious generation of concentrated sulfur dyes, instead of the high-risk chemical aniline traditionally used in indigo. These sulfur-mixed dyes are fixed to the fibre, applied with protective starch, then oxidized with bi-catonic agents, eliminating all other steps in the dyeing process including wastewater.
By avoiding the batch-dyeing process entirely, and applying colour directly into the filament is how We aRe Spindye is addressing textile dye challenges.
Imitating nature’s colours using microorganisms is an ingenious reinvention of the colouration process, developed by Colorifix.
To learn more about these and other low-impact and water saving dye innovations, register to visit our 8th Future Fabrics Expo in January 2019.
For more information about The Sustainable Angle’s Environmental Criteria, click here.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/water-and-sanitation/
URS for WRAP. (10 July 2012). Review of Data on Embodied Water in Clothing Summary Report. Retrieved from http://www.wrap.org.uk/sites/files/wrap/Appendix%20V%20-%20Water%20footprint%20report.pdf
Watts, J. (8 October 2018). We have 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, warns UN. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report
Every year the world’s famous and historic Victoria & Albert Museum in London curates a major fashion exhibition that brings relevant cultural issues to the forefront. This year’s theme is Fashioned from Nature, the first UK exhibition to explore the complex relationship between fashion and nature from 1600 to present day.
The exhibition presents fashionable dress alongside natural history specimens, innovative new fabrics and dyeing processes, inviting visitors to think about the materials of fashion and the sources of their clothes. (V&A Museum, 2018).
Fashion’s latest complex relationship with nature — sustainability — was the core topic of the recent conference hosted by the V&A on 5 October, “Fashioned From Nature: Designing a Sustainable Future”.
The Sustainable Angle’s Founder and Director, Nina Marenzi, and Curator & Consultant of the Future Fabrics Expo, Amanda Johnston, both had the pleasure of being guest speakers at the conference, covering “The Material Future of Fashion”. The material discussion was finished off with a Q&A alongside Orr Yarkoni from Colorifix, and Oya Barlas Bingül from Lenzing.
Key speakers at the conference ranged from academia to global brands to journalists to textile leaders, including our friends at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, CELC, Nike, and Stella McCartney to name a few. Industry experts were brought together to explore creative and practical ways to reduce the environmental impact of fashion, from small-scale innovations to new methods being introduced by global brands.
Against the beautiful backdrop of the Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, environment takes centre stage as attendees come together to discover the future of a more sustainable fashion industry, through emerging alternatives in fashion and textile production and design. (V&A, 2018)
As Edwina Ehrman, Senior Curator of Fashioned from Nature, states, “In this fashion exhibit, the environment and nature is at its core”. Sustainability is now a design principle.
Guest speakers Amy Powney and Carrie Somers from fashion label Mother of Pearl, can attest to this. They started their design process via a pilot sustainability project, researching materials with conscious environmental and social impacts with the aim to create a transparent supply chain. This led to the ‘No Frills’ collection, one of their most commercially successful collections. Beyond being aesthetically beautiful in design, many of their materials turned out to be cheaper than using conventional materials. Mother of Pearl’s project proved that the benefits of applying sustainable material sourcing are not only environmental but economical.
CELC Linen, The European Confederation of Flax and Hemp suppliers is the main sponsor of Fashioned from Nature. Their socially responsible European Flax® fibre certification ensures no irrigation, GMOs or waste. The Masters of Linen certification label from CELC means the entire supply chain of flax is grown, processed and manufactured in Europe.
Claire Bergkamp, Worldwide Director of Sustainability and Innovation for Stella McCartney, says that their Spring/Summer 2019 collection was the most sustainable yet. The collection used recycled materials, sustainable viscose, and innovative leather alternatives to name a few. “Leather is 10-20x more impactful on the planet than vegan materials”, she adds, but recognizes that synthetics do have problems such as their end-of-life stage.
Our own The Sustainable Angle presentation was about “Transforming the industry requires a bold re-imagining of how we manage our resources. It is presenting opportunities for material innovation,” says Nina Marenzi.
Together with Amanda Johnston, a range of materials from the Future Fabrics Expo were introduced to the audience. This included emerging innovations such as Nova Kaeru’s fish leather processed with low impact tanning, and organic silk denim and biodegradable sequins. Commercially available fabrics were also shown, such as sports fabrics made with Seaqual’s recycled and recovered marine plastics. There were also biodegradable cellulosic fibres from sustainable wood sources produced in a closed loop cycle, such as Tencel™. An updated, sustainable denim from Bysshe was introduced, which is composed of fibres made from hemp (grown on marginal lands without pesticides, fertilizers or irrigation) and blended with organic cotton (rainfed, grown in crop rotation).
Amanda Johnston adds, “When deciding what materials to use for fashion, the key considerations are: raw materials that take into account agriculture, limited natural resources availability, material processing and end-of-life use.”
With major industry players placing sustainability at the top of their agenda, Fashioned from Nature is a culturally-relevant exhibition that dissects how the fashion industry can use the past and present, to become empowered to think for the future of the planet. We were proud to have contributed to the exhibit by introducing the curators to sustainable materials from the Future Fabrics expo. Thank you to the V&A for inviting us to speak at the conference.
REGISTER TODAY for our upcoming 8th Future Fabrics Expo.
Fashioned from Nature is on display at the V&A until 27 January, 2019. Visit the exhibition.
“Can innovative ideas, designs, business models and materials help reinvent the future of fashion?”
This was the central topic of discussion on the 4 October, when The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo joined “Reinventing Fashion”, an event hosted by the Hoffman Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy hosted at the Chatham House, in collaboration with the Circular Economy Club.
The event brought together consumers, designers, retailers, innovators, material scientists, business and media leaders, policy makers and campaigners to discuss cutting edge technologies that could shape the future of fashion.
Panel speakers at the event included Sarah Ditty from Fashion Revolution, Pamela Mar from The Fung Group, Fee Gilfeather from Oxfam, Zoe Partridge from Wear the Walk, Giorgina Waltier from H&M Sustainability, and Orr Yarkoni of Colorifix.
“As a society we purchase 400% more clothing than we did just twenty years ago,” says Sarah Ditty, Head of Policy at Fashion Revolution, during the discussion.
With its heavy environmental impact, the current state of consumer fashion paints a notoriously bleak picture: tonnes of unused clothing ends up in landfill waste or incineration, plastic microfibers make their way to the aquatic food chain, and 98 million tonnes of non-renewable resources such as oil, fertilizers and chemicals are consumed for production purposes (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, 2017, http://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/publications).
Pamela Mar, Executive Vice President, Supply Chain Futures, and Director of Sustainability for The Fung Group, sheds a positive light to this context during the discussion. “Manufacturing is decoupled from design, and we need to bring them back together – if you adapt your design it can take pressure off the garment workers.”
“Bring design into manufacturing. So that the designer is aware how any changes can directly affect production. This can be enabled by #tech to create direct connection,” says Mar.
Mar could not have described better the work that we do here at The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo. After the panel discussion, guests were invited to preview our curated selection of materials in the halls of Chatham House. We enabled attendees to have a tactile experience and discover the collective and material efforts of innovative leaders and suppliers who are driving the fashion industry forward.
“Reinventing Fashion” was a perfect setting for us, as we continue to provide designers and brands with innovative, integrated solutions to responsible sourcing that challenges the fashion industry.
REGISTER TODAY for our upcoming 8th Future Fabrics Expo.
Watch the Panel Discussion here. Images and video courtesy of Chatham House.
We were delighted to be invited by fashion journalist Olivia Pinnock to join the Fashion Debates panel last week, along with Emma Priestland from Friends of The Earth, plastics waste expert, who observed that ‘clothing is a significant contributor to plastic pollution and one that is overlooked’ and Charney Magri, co-founder of Fashion 4 Change, who showed her catwalk to creation film, highlighting the sustainability agenda, making it aspirational and promoting the Sustainable Development goals agenda.
In the atmospheric surroundings of the creative and socially conscious House of St Barnabus’ chapel in Soho, the full house numbered a passionate and well informed audience, who were interrogative in their questions around the specifics of materials and keen to learn and debunk myths about what constitutes ‘eco friendly’. The pull and push of the fast fashion system, and our contemporary over reliance on materials made from oil underscored the problem. The call to reduce our plastic usage has been loud and urgent.
While fashion has been called out for its excessive use of synthetic fabrics which are shedding microplastics in all of our water supplies, is recycled plastic, touted as one of the coolest new materials around, the solution? The debate tackled the question ‘What role does fashion play in the war on plastic?’ discussing the part that the fashion industry plays in contributing to plastic pollution, and how can we as consumers play a part in reducing it.
Take a look at the latest BBC documentary -Drowning in Plastic available now on iPlayer:
On the 13th of September The Sustainable Angle’s curator Amanda Johnston was invited to join the Lenzing Sustainability panel discussion during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Istanbul. This year the event was held at the Zorlu Performing Arts Centre, nestled within the luxurious Zorlu shopping centre.
The history of Istanbul Fashion Week only dates back to 2008, then named Fashion Lab, expanding to become a fully-fledged fashion week in 2010.
The panel were greeted by a packed theatre with a diverse audience comprised of fashion fans, industry insiders, buyers, journalists, bloggers, influencers and photographers.
The discussion was chaired by renowned journalist Ferhan Istanbullu, and the panel was coordinated by Hale Saracoglu from Lenzing, who also contributed her expertise in the fashion industry supply chain and in the field of man made cellulosics. She conveyed the importance of clear communication around sustainability to the discussion. Hale explained and highlighted the FSC certified wood feedstock, closed loop production process and key benefits of different Lenzing fibres such as Tencel™, Eco Vero™ and Refibra™.
Ferhan was interested to hear the panel’s thoughts on defining sustainability, and to frame the importance of our fast fashion habits as contributors to the culture of fashion consumption. The panel observed that with fast fashion we have been led to consume very easily in excess quantities. We can throw away the products we don’t like or we don’t want anymore so easily, as their price suggests that their value is disposable, and we have lost the desire, patience and knowledge to care for and repair our clothing.
The challenges designers and brands face today is in implementing holistic sustainable practices- and understanding that sustainability goes beyond choosing the right fibres or production processes, but is also about the quality and longevity of garments, in order to stem the huge environmental impact that comes from today’s throw away culture of clothing.
Amanda introduced the work of the The Sustainable Angle, what we do, and how we developed our criteria, highlighting examples of more sustainable and responsible materials for fashion in both man-made and natural fibres which have a low environmental impact, highlighting the variety of choices available and the necessity to move away from unsustainable non-renewable virgin polyester and conventionally grown cotton currently dominating the market. We discussed the need for diversification of the global fibre basket, and the crucial need to develop circular models throughout the textiles supply chain, and through to product in order to provide solutions to our growing, and unmanageable material waste streams. We shared the interest from industry partners in projects that propose how we may think differently about material sources in the future, and how we manage those waste streams.
At retail lack of information on labels means that consumers don’t know where the fabric come from, what is it made of? The answers to these questions and transparency of process are important. For example TENCEL™ branded fibers come from trees. But, understanding the processes that makes the fibre, yarn and fabric are as important as the raw material of fabrics, only this way we may understand its impact to the environment and make informed choices when we shop. The need for full transparency of information, certifications and supply chain traceability being key.
Simone Seisl, Materials expert, Ambassador and Consultant for Textile Exchange said; ‘we are talking about a very serious subject with global climate change, and we need to act as a community to create a change. We have duties individually both in our professional work environment and personally in our private life. We don’t expect anyone to make a dramatic change from day one to day two however starting from today we need to start this movement step by step. Water waste, global climate change and the micro-plastic issue in the oceans are some of the environmental problems. There is no one solution to all, all the problems are linked together.’
Simone flagged up an opportunity and observed that Turkey is a key player in Denim production in the world, and that Textile Exchange believe that Turkey is poised to play an important role in the successful recycling of Denim in the future, lowering the impact on natural resources and initiating an important step towards the circular economy for textiles.
All agreed there is now an urgency to investigate how we can produce raw materials more sustainably, and innovate, by first thinking in a solutions based way. Also, discussions about some of the new innovations and solutions, developed to address our most pressing sustainability issues, including leather alternatives and the interest in recycling technologies and pre and post consumer industry and food waste materials suggested a new, responsibly produced materials landscape for the future.
The discussion concluded with a Q&A, of not only consumer habits and how to make the right fibre choices, but most importantly of how to think creatively, how sustainability should be recognised as a game changer and an opportunity, for businesses to future proof their operations. The discussion also drew attention to the significance of the impact that we as consumers and industry practitioners can have through our everyday choices.
Many thanks to Hale and the team at Lenzing Istanbul for their organisation and hospitality.
The Future Fabrics Expo at The London Textile Fair
The Sustainable Angle showcased the Future Fabrics Expo for the first time at The London Textile Fair on the 18 & 19th July 2018 at the Business Design Centre in Islington, North London.
The London Textile Fair invited the Future Fabrics Expo as part of its vision and commitment to help guide designers and brands on their journey towards more sustainable fabric sourcing and practices.
The Sustainable Angle presented a special edition of the Future Fabrics Expo, which showcased an information platform, enabling visitors at The London Textile Fair to access and discover a diverse range of commercially available sustainable textiles and material innovations for the future of fashion. This debut of a dedicated focus on sustainable fabrics at The London Textile Fair reflects a timely recognition of the critical imperative for the fashion and textile industries to practice sustainability throughout the fashion supply chain, starting with materials sourcing, at the very fibre and fabric stage.
Within our Expo we featured two seminars each day, the first by The Sustainable Angle curator Amanda Johnston, highlighting current fashion and textile impacts. The critical need to think more intelligently about outdated models that pollute, waste precious resources and perpetrate the abuse of human rights and animal ethics were discussed. The seminar summarised the key sustainability issues of fibre and processing types, and introduced the Sustainable Angle’s perspective on materials sourcing.
Oya Barlas Bingual from Lenzing Group introduced the company’s global firsts regarding fibre technology in low impact regenerated cellulosic’s, and the newly launched innovations that are providing viable alternatives to cotton and silk, whilst importantly paving the way towards closing the loop on our material streams. For example, LENZING™ ECOVERO™ viscose fibres are created from certified raw materials and controlled sources, and TENCEL™ Lyocell with REFIBRA™ technology involves up-cycling a proportion of pre- consumer cotton scraps.
We were delighted to present for the first time, a curated selection of qualities that meet our criteria from the London Textile Fair exhibitors, and to highlight examples of best practice responsibly produced fabrics on the Future Fabrics Expo Forum in the main foyer. Here we also introduced our organisation and research, highlighting current data which emphasizes the need to practice more responsibly in order to future proof supply chains and business. These qualities showcased the broad range of sustainable solutions, from closed loop c, eco- down, ‘waterless’ printing, recycled materials through to GOTS certified cottons produced in France, exemplified by Les Trouvailles d’Amandine
This special edition of the Future Fabrics Expo aimed to educate and inform visitors about the latest research and initiatives of global textile organisations, who are making positive contributions to the design, manufacture, and functionality of more sustainable practices, creating and extending sustainable networks in the fashion and textile industries. We supported this by presenting a broad range of fabrics, materials and key information that contributes to increasing knowledge and providing solutions from a sourcing perspective.
The Future Fabrics Expo provide their experience, research and robust criteria to create a specially curated selection of materials and textiles with a lower environmental impact all in one place at the London Textile Fair. To enquire about our projects, research and consultancy for the fashion industry services please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to The London Textiles Fair team for hosting us, and for the overwhelmingly positive feedback from all our visitors!
The Sustainable Angle has reached the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. On 6th of July, The Sustainable Angle showcased a selection of low impact textiles at BAFTA as part of the event Albert Quarterlies: Designing the way to Sustainable Costume. The aim was to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability in the costume industry while giving participants the opportunity to make more sustainable material choices by sourcing from a curated showcased by The Sustainable Angle.
Hundreds of materials were displayed and were selected specifically for costume designers with an attention to small order minimum quantities and short lead times. As part of the selection were organic cotton, naturally dyed fabrics, but also bast fibres, colour grown cotton or materials made from food waste and recycled fibres.
Next to the opportunity to source fabrics, a range of speakers offered insights into their work and discussed the challenges and opportunities ahead:
Costume designers have usually only a short time frame to work which is a particular challenge, as well as the frequently changing projects were identified as making sustainability harder to tackle consistently by Sinead O’Sullivan (Co-Founder of The Costume Directory). She highlighted that collaboration and the sharing of resources are key to address these issues.
BAFTA and Oscar-winning costume designer Jacqueline Durran discussed how she incorporated sustainability on the set of Beauty and the Beast and Mary Magdalena, from the vintage textiles sourced specifically for the project to the natural dyeing techniques used to create the final effect.
Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution spoke about the importance of transparency to ensure social and environmental sustainability. She emphasized how persistence and the act of asking questions can change the industry step-by-step, question after question. Her presentation was centred around: Be curious, find out, do something.
Charlie Ross, founder and Director of Offset Warehouse was talking about her journey towards sustainability and addressed questions surrounding ethics.
The event brought together experts in the field of sustainability of both the fashion and costume sector and we were thrilled to be part of this conversation and able to offer material solutions. It is great to see that our message to make sustainability key to every design process is also increasingly being embraced by the costume industry.
Many of the fabrics displayed at the event can also be found on our Future Fabrics Virtual Expo, online HERE, particularly in the ‘Mills with small order quantities’ section.
The Sustainable Angle presented a selection of innovative sustainable textiles at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation 2018 Summit in London on Thursday 21st June. As part of the Make Fashion Circular initiative, the foundation partnered up with brands such as Stella McCartney, Burberry, H&M and Nike to make the fashion and textiles industry circular – moving away from the current wasteful, linear system to a circular economy.
The Sustainable Angle was asked to display a selection of materials from its Future Fabrics Expo that are in line with the Ellen MacArthur foundation’s mission. As part of the selection were biodegradable materials such as Tencel™, recycled materials certified by GRS, post-consumer recycled denims and sustainable sequins that are water-soluble.
The 2018 Summit brought together senior executives from the world of business, media and academia to discuss the strategies necessary to transitioning towards a circular economy. Specialist speakers from a wide range of fields debated how to adapt existing systems to the needs of tomorrow. A promising disruptive technology that stood out was introduced on stage, called Entocycle, a company using larvae fed on food waste from cities to fuel a more sustainable food chain. The numerous talks during the day were illustrated in the exhibition space, which showcased circular economy thinking across the three main areas of the foundation: food, fashion (where our materials where shown) and architecture. A number of the talks mentioned the role of government being essential to shift from a linear to a circular model.
Created in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation has become a pioneer in researching potential new systems and bringing together the most prominent organisations to discuss these challenges on a global scale. Currently the focus of the foundation is on how to spark fast-paced large scale system change towards the circular economy where by design nothing ever becomes waste but instead safe and renewable materials become nutrients again at the end of their use, for the next product cycle. Read the report HERE and follow on social media.
The Sustainable Angle presented an edited showcase of the Future Fabrics Expo at the innovation forum at the eighth annual Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2018, as a solutions provider for a Sustainable Material Mix, one of the fundamental priorities of the CEO agenda, below. This special edition was supported by the Lenzing Group.
The summit is the leading business event on sustainability in fashion, which aims to mobilize the global fashion system to change its negative practices. The summit welcomed over 1300 visitors and participants to discuss sustainability challenges and progress within the industry. The Global Fashion Agenda counts many of the world’s top fashion brands as strategic partners, including Kering, H&M, Li and Fung, Target and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. The knowledge partner for their publication, The Pulse Report is The Boston consulting Group. The theme this year was; Take it From Words to Action.
Ahead of the summit, the Global Fashion agenda published the CEO Agenda: Seven Priorities of The CEO Agenda 2018:
1-3. For immediate implementation:
1. Supply Chain Traceability
2. Efficient Use Of Water, Energy and Chemicals
3. Respectful and Secure Work Environments
4-7. For fundamental change
4. Sustainable Material Mix
5. Closed-Loop Fashion System
6. Promotion Of Better Wage Systems
7. Fourth Industrial Revolution
European Commissioner Margrete Vestager gave an inspiring opening speech, emphasising that this summit is about actioning solutions.
HRH Mary of Denmark spoke on the second day, and stressed that bold leadership is what is most needed in fashion to really accelerate the commitment of fashion to change. She said that this must include implementing broader actions; seeking out new solutions, disruptive business models and more innovations utilizing waste ingeniously, like Frumat and Pinatex for example, both shown in our Future Fabrics Expo. All stakeholders need to collaborate and work towards best practice, and for this to happen systemic change is needed. Calling for the elimination of virgin synthetic fibers, promoting circularity, transparency and traceability, reduction of CO2 and eliminating plastics in the oceans are urgent imperatives.
Summit hosts Amber Valetta, actress, model and entrepreneur, and Tim Blanks from The Business of Fashion, introduced speakers from global brands, such as; Stella McCartney (CEO and designer Stella McCartney), Carry Somers and Orosla de Castro (Founders of Fashion Revolution), Clare Press (Sustainability editor-at-large Vogue Australia), Anna Gedda (Head of sustainability at H&M), David Fischer (Founder of Highsnobiety), Dio Kurazawa (Founder of The Bear Scouts), Mostafiz Uddin (Managing director, Denim Expert Ltd. and founder & CEO, Bangladesh Apparel Exchange), Nicolaj Reffstrup (CEO of Ganni), Pamela Batty (Vice President and Corporate Responsibility at Burberry), Paul van Zyl (CEO Maiyet), Panel discussion highlights were: The new textiles economy with Ellen Macarthur of the Ellen MacArthur foundation, Paul Dillinger of Levi Strauss co, Julie Wainwright of The Real Real and Cecilia Strömblad Brännsten, H&M group Environmental Sustainability manager, questioning: How can we bring the vision of a circular economy for fashion to life? Paul Dillinger was one of the only ones to mention the elephant in the room: if 6 out of 10 garments go into landfill, we have to ask ourselves: was it necessary to produce those 6 garments in excess in the first place? Great applause erupted from the audience!
The “Pulse Of The Fashion Industry 2018” annual report, published by the Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group follows the strong belief that the environmental, social and ethical challenges the industry faces today are not only a threat, but also an immense, untapped opportunity for creative value. It states that there is a positive business case for sustainability in fashion. The mid-price segment of the industry has caught up the most in 2017. However, sustainability is still treated separately within Fashion Brands, and approached as an ‘add on’- this needs to be more integrated strategically at the core of practice. Embedding sustainable practices into the DNA of an existing brand represent true challenges. The smaller and newer brands may be at an advantage here, being more nimble and able to absorb switches in supply chain practices more quickly.
The report is based on the brand module tool of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition´s Higg Index. Research from Nike’s MSI shows that materials matter the most: around 60% of the environmental impact of a product can be attributed to the materials from which it is made. Nike have a 100% renewable energy target, and doubling their business while halving the impact is the goal. Waste goes into Nike circular innovation processes. Where to integrate it is the challenge; currently 5bn PET bottles are reused by Nike, 24bn litres of H2O saved. They believe that ‘waste is gold’.
However, the inherent contradiction of the summit’s message is that the relentless making and buying of fashion are in themselves part of the problem, and the Pulse report does not really address this. We produce 60 percent more clothing than we did 15 years ago, and 87 percent of it is rejected quickly, much of the value in these products going straight to landfil. William McDonough, author of ‘Cradle to Cradle’ points out that “being less bad is not the same as being good.” The importance of Block Chain Technology came up and several panellists agreed that this will lead to increased tracability and transparency which is what ultimately the customer wants to know: “people want to know where the stuff is from”.
William McDonough emphasized the importance of the Precautionary Principle to be applied when it comes to new materials. This means that before these new materials are being released into the world, preventive action in the face of uncertainty has to be taken as well as shifting the burden of proof to the proponents of an activity. Exploring a wide range of alternatives to possibly harmful actions is very much at the forefront of this principle, and something that The Sustainable Angle supports wholeheartedly.
The Youth Fashion Summit selected 112 young people from Universities around the world, representing 36 different nationalities. The Centre for Sustainable Fashion at London College of Fashion and KEA, Denmark create the program to immerse the students in imagining and envisioning what a future might look like if fashion were a force for good. This years event focused on two of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development goals No3; Health and Wellbeing, and No5; Gender equality.
They delivered an impassioned address to the industry asking for the fashion community to change…..
Youth Summit Demands
Over three days we brainstormed a different type of future and questioned how those goals might be broken down to reach it. We drafted narratives around these futures, and summed them up with demands to the industry which we then trialled on industry representatives to truly assess their potential. At the end of the summit, we presented to the industry, summing up our findings and including eight demands that we believe the industry must fulfil to have a great long-term future.
1. We demand gender equality through partnerships for the implementation of culture-specific education with the aid of effective measurement systems starting at the corporate level.
2. We demand “truthenticity”: a society and an industry that respects differences, appreciates natural resources, ensures honest communication, and allows all individuals to unleash their creative selves.
3. We demand an end to exploitation and symbolic annihilation through the equal representation of all genders, extending beyond the corporate community and to the sphere of media and advertising.
4. We demand that CEOs prioritise gender equality in all business operations by putting people before profit and combining technology and education to empower women.
5. We – the youth – demand that the fashion industry take full responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of all supply chain participants
6. We demand new methodologies are built upon empathy and implemented by decision makers who prioritize the health and well-being of all members within the value-chain
7. We demand the industry to take responsibility and collaborate with government and NGOs, through legislation and enforcement, to ensure the health and well-being of individuals.
8. We demand your participation in a “Glocalised” hybrid organisation. Through the systematic sharing of knowledge, we will foster traceability and circularity throughout the value chain, ensuring the health and well-being of natural and human resources.
Building upon our Future Fabrics Expo showcase at last year’s Copenhagen Fashion Summit, it was exciting to be such a prominent part of the Grand Solutions section of the Innovations Forum this year, with the support of Lenzing Group.
It provided the opportunity to spotlight and present a curated edit of our Future Fabrics Expo, consolidating our experience in providing a plethora of tactile, inspirational and commercially available textiles, materials, trims and sourcing solutions. We presented a range of globally sourced best practice traditional natural fibres, along with closed loop regenerated cellulosics, mechanically and chemically recycled natural and synthetic qualities. We were amongst the first organisations to showcase ingenious innovations created from waste, such as Orange Fibre, Frumat vegan leather substitute from apple waste, Pinatex from pinapple leaves, and responsible bio waste and recycled polyester sequins, recycled synthetics, also featuring toxin-free and natural dyeing processes and finishing technologies.
See more about our featured Mills HERE
The Future of fashion materials is here! See the textiles with a lower environmental footprint from around 150 suppliers in the Future Fabrics Expo @London Textile Fair, 18-19th July, as well as the 8th Future Fabrics Expo, 24-25th January 2019.
Written by Amanda Johnston and Nina marenzi
The Sustainable Angle initiated the Future Fabrics Expo in 2011 to connect innovative sustainable mills and suppliers with fashion brands. This solutions driven, curated showcase displays thousands of commercially available materials with a lower environmental impact:
we show a wide variety of sustainable solutions in textiles alongside detailed background information. An edition of the Future Fabrics Expo supported by the Lenzing Group is going to be shown at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit’s Grand solutions Innovation Forum from tomorrow, 15th – 16th May 2018.
The Future Fabrics Expo highlights are:
Fish leather from Atlantic Leather, a by-product of the fishing industry using production processes from renewable hydro and geothermal energy. www.atlanticleather.is
Avery Dennison works with brands and retailers worldwide to design and innovate sustainable branding and technology solutions for the apparel and footwear market. www.averydennison.com
Beyond Surface Technologies is a Swiss green chemistry innovator in finishing processes of textiles, achieving lower potential hazards and a reduced carbon footprint overall. www.beyondst.com
Hallotex is a design and manufacturing fashion company, specialised in knitted fabrics. Members of Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Textile Exchange, their factories, processes and materials are GOTS and GRS certified. www.hallotex.com
Sustainable Brazilian exotic bio leathers, pioneers in chrome free tanning and non toxic seamless paneling technology for fish from by-products of the food industry coming from sustainably managed farms controlled and regulated by IBAMA. www.novakaeru.com.br
Remei AG coordinates the production of sustainable cotton and sustainable textiles made from organic cotton. Remei keeps all stages of the production chain transparent to its customers. www.remei.ch
The Sustainable Sequin Company offers both stock sequin shapes and a bespoke design and cut service, currently using 100% recycled PET with a biodegradable sequin film in development. www.thesustainablesequincompany.com
Südwolle Group delivers worsted wool and wool blend yarns, providing specialist services for weaving, flat/circular knitting, hosiery and technical textiles. Produced in Europe and in Asia with a focus on sustainability. www.suedwollegroup.com
From raw materials to garments Toyoshima work with fibres like Tencel™. The FOODTEXTILE project uses residue and leftover vegetables from the food manufacturing process as dyes. Made in Japan. www.foodtextile.jp/en
Supported by The Lenzing Group, an international company that produces high-quality botanic fibers from certified renewable raw material wood with environmentally friendly and innovative technologies. These fibers form the basis for a wide range of textile and nonwoven applications, and are also used in work and protective wear and in industrial applications.
Its products are marketed under the following brands: TENCELT™ for textile applications, VEOCEL™ for nonwovens and LENZING™ for special fiber applications. Innovations like TENCEL™ x REFIBRA™ branded lyocell fiber technology, the identifiable LENZING™ ECOVERO™ branded fibers and TENCEL™ Luxe branded lyocell filament yarn make Lenzing a global innovation leader.
In April The Sustainable Angle was introduced by Katarina Rimarcikova at ALIGN Creative Studio to the Hyeres fashion festival, a unique International fashion platform and talent showcase, created and led by Villa Noailles Director Jean-Pierre Blanc for over thirty years. Every Spring in the last week in April, the Festival spotlights promising artists in the fields of fashion and photography. It features diverse exhibitions, professional panel discussions and competitions, which showcase ten photographers, ten fashion designers, and ten accessories designers selected by the jury.
Since 1986, this International event has gathered an ever- growing crowd of influential industry insiders, seeking to talent spot and support emerging creatives in fashion and photography from the best international schools.
Situated in the 1920’s hilltop sanctuary Villa Noailles, the rich creative history and spirit of the art loving philanthropists who commissioned this building continues, offering an opportunity to the competition winners, by awarding substantial prizes and on-going support from established industry partners, such as LVMH, Chloe and Chanel, Premiere Vision and Eyes on Talents.
The Hyeres Festival features activities, exhibitions, installations, concerts, films, conferences, networking opportunities, showrooms, workshops, fashion shows and awards ceremonies.
Thought provoking conferences on the relationship between real space and virtual retail, and the future implications of the development of A.I and how the place of I.P within the traditional ‘creator’ model may be shifting, took place. Tim Blanks, from the Business of Fashion interviewed the creative team in charge of the new Galeries Lafayette, set to open in 2018 in the Champs- Elysees, Paris which will have as a focus more responsible fashion. Exactly how this will be implemented and defined was left open.
‘If fashion has any honey pot it is surely Hyères, which manages to attract a unique blend of hipster stars, clever insiders, cabinet ministers, curious CEOs and a new generation of talent. And it is the latter which in turns lures another unique blend – a selection of sponsors that can vary from upper echelon Chanel; crystal manufacturer Swarovski; Premiere Vision, the world’s leading fabric fair based in Paris; fashion college Marangoni and, this season, Supima, the hyper quality American cotton that is grown in the desserts of the American South West.’ April 30th 2018 Godfrey Deeny Fashion Network
An exhibition of designers including Nicolas Ghesquière, Jun Takahashi and Azzedine Alaïa, was curated by Haider Ackermann who presides over the Grand Prize of the Jury Première Vision. The Bettina Rheims exhibition, a series of iconic pictures that she took for Details Magazine between 1994 and 1997, when Bill Mullen was fashion director, The two partnered on the jury for photography.
Christelle Kocher, artistic director of the House of Lemarié, laid four and a half metres of white cotton cloth out, inviting guests to co-create delicate flower collages from rhinestones, feathers, silk, cotton, rhodoid and sequins. Successful crafters of a section received a numbered certificate!
There were only a few designers working with sustainable materials, namely finalists to the Grand jury prize:
Linda Kokkonen working with upcycled lace and leather. Jef Montes working with recycled nylon from old cars and fishing nets. Thibaut Rodde and Sandrine Pachecus crafted sunglasses made from old bones from wild animals found in the woods, and using unwanted dead olive trees grown in the region.
The grand 15,000 euros prize was awarded to Antwerp based designers Rushemy Botter & Lisi Herrebrugh for their collection ‘Fish Or Fight’ the duo took inspiration from their shared Caribbean roots, observing the fishermen whose large colourful nets, worn slung over the shoulder, were translated into draped coats and separates. The duo were nominated for the 2018 LVMH Prize earlier this year, and will also collaborate on a project with Chanel’s Métiers d’Art. Mercedes-Benz will also invite the duo to show during Berlin Fashion Week’s Spring 2019 collections in July.
Toulouse-native Ester Manas, developed a coquetish and colourful collection of plus-size womenswear, and was selected by Galeries Lafayette to produce a capsule collection, wanted to create “a complete wardrobe made to simultaneously protect and reveal the wearer.”
Canadian designer Marie-Ève Lecavalier received an Honourable Mention from the Jury for her MA collection entitled ‘Come Get Trippy With Us’. Lecavalier worked with thick leathers, left over and rejected from production and recycled denims. ‘I think it’s important to make things by hand,’ she said. ‘I think this attitude is coming back and that’s exciting.’She was also awarded the Chloe Prize for her plaited leather and diamante dress, which embodied a return to making things special again; towards a consciousness of consumption.
The Swarovski Fashion Accessories Grand Prize of the Jury went to product designers Flora Fixy and Julia Dessirier who re- imagined the design of hearing devices. Their project ‘H(Earring)’ sits at the junction between medicine and fashion, bestowing this medical device with a lyrical and contemporary fashion appeal. ‘Fashion is an amplifier for socio-political issues. Our jewellery is first an answer to the user’s needs, but it is a political tool too,’ the designers said.
Last year’s grand prize winner Vanessa Schindler returned to Hyères with a collection developed in partnership with Chanel’s Maison Lesage. Her work uses liquid polyurethane to secure layers of luxuriously feminine fabrics, lending her outfits a futuristic edge.
The Maison Berluti, part of the LVMH group that celebrates 20 years collaborating with the Festival, will be this edition’s guest of honour for the fashion section while Haider Ackermann, headed up the jury composed of fashion historian Farid Chenoune; Jefferson Hack, Co-founder of Dazed Media London; filmmaker, actress and model Farida Khelfa; jewellery designer Delfina Delettrez Fendi; artist Lou Doillon; Ben Gorham, founder and artistic director of Byredo Stockholm; actress Tilda Swinton; fashion designer Vanessa Schindler, winner of the Fashion’s Grand Prix Première Vision in Hyères in 2017.
The jury met in Paris at the MAD – Musée des Arts Décoratifs, and selected the ten finalists among 300 candidates from 60 countries:
Marie-Eve Lecavalier – Womenswear – Canada
Ester Manas – Womenswear – France
Linda Kokkonen – Womenswear – Finland
Jef Montes – Womenswear – Holland
Ela Fidalgo – Womenswear – Spain
Antonia Sedakova – Menswear – Russia
Rushemy Botter – Menswear – Holland
Regina Weber – Womenswear – Germany
Anna Isoniemi – Womenswear – Finland
Sarah Bruylant – Womenswear – Belgium
The jury of the Accessories section, presided over by Christelle Kocher, artistic director of the Maison Lemarié and founder of Koche, was composed of artist Bernard Frize; journalist Leaf Greener; Hirofumi Kurino, co-founder and creative advisor of United Arrows Tokyo; Michele Lamy of Muse London; Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel founder and designer di Mansur Gavriel; Brune de Margerie, fashion director of Elle France; Nicole Phelps, director of Vogue Runway; designer Elie Top; stylist Charlotte Stockdale of Chaos Fashion; and Marina Chedel, fashion accessories designer and winner of the Jury Grand Prix Accessoires de mode Swarovski in Hyères in 2017. The jury selected the finalists of the Fashion Accessories section:
Sari Räthel & Riccarda Wolf – jewellery – Germany
Claire O’Keefe & Eugenia Oliva – jewellery – Spain
Ildar Wafin – jewellery – Finland
Jinah Jung – bags – Korea
Sara Emilie Terp Hansen – bags – Danimarca
Kate Fichard, Flora Fixy & Julia Dessirier – auditive jewellery – France
Ludovic Leger – bags – France
Romain Delamart & Flora Langlois – bags – France
Cécile Gray – jewellery – France
Inès Bressand – bag – France.
Since its first edition in 2009, Copenhagen Fashion Summit has established itself as the world’s leading business event on sustainability in fashion. Convening major fashion industry decision makers, the multi-stakeholder event – regularly referred to as the Davos of the fashion industry – has become the nexus for agenda-setting discussions on the most critical environmental, social and ethical issues facing our industry and planet.
The Sustainable Angle is looking forward to showcasing a curated selection of commercially available, sustainable textiles and innovative materials from our Future Fabrics Expo. This is supported by the Lenzing Group. We will be showcasing in the Innovation forum at the Copenhagen Fashion Summit on the 15th and 16th of May 2018 at the Copenhagen Concert Hall.
We offer solutions to materials sourcing with a lower environmental impact which contribute to fundamental, transformative change in the fashion industry starting NOW. Since 2011. we have promoted and supported the diversification of the global fibre basket with a consistently updated broad and varied range of sustainable materials shown in our Future Fabrics Expo in London which has been visited by thousands of visitors over the last 7 years. Our mills and producers demonstrate more responsible practices, and offer solutions by providing materials with reduced environmental impact, contributing to more transparent and sustainable supply chains.
The Future Fabrics Expo is also showing educational background information alongside the materials on display. Each fabric and material has individual sustainability information attached. Each sustainable material has the contact details of the supplier clearly shown. The criteria by which we select the materials are shown as well as the certifications per material are displayed.
Ahead of the summit, the Global Fashion Agenda debuts a new report aimed at fashion executives, called CEO Agenda, highlighting seven core priorities, urging immediate action and transformational priorities from fashion industry leaders. Representing Transformational priority number 4 ‘sustainable material mix’ from the CEO Agenda we support the Sustainable Materials category by showing a curated selection of commercially available materials from the Future Fabrics Expo supported by Lenzing Group
Tickets for Copenhagen Fashion Summit available here: https://copenhagenfashionsummit.com/tickets
The Sustainable Angle is delighted to announce that for the first time the Future Fabrics Expo will be shown at the London Textile Fair in July 2018!
Following the success of our Future Fabrics Expo in January, this debut of a dedicated focus on sustainable fabrics at the London Textiles Fair reflects a recognition of the critical need for the fashion and textile industries to begin practising sustainability through sourcing, at the very fibre and fabric stage.
The Sustainable Angle provide their experience, research and robust sustainability criteria to create a specially curated access to this growing opportunity in materials and textiles. Our showcase of thousands of globally sourced materials is selected and curated to introduce textiles for the fashion industry of the future. We present materials with a reduced environmental impact, and communicate in a jargon-free manner, supporting and guiding designers and brands in their journey towards more sustainable sourcing and supply chain practices.
Several London Textile Fair exhibitors will have selected qualities featured and spotlighted within our collection, on the mezzanine floor.
Key textiles and materials from London Textile fair exhibitors will also be selected and showcased on our Future Fabrics Expo Trend forum in the Village Green, situated in the main hall. Qualities chosen by The Sustainable Angle will be assessed based on their sustainability credentials according to our criteria.
The Future Fabrics Expo is a showcase and information platform, enabling the discovery of a diverse range of sustainable textiles and innovations for the future of fashion. The Expo educates and informs visitors about the latest initiatives of global textile mills to design, manufacture, and function more sustainably, extending positive networks in the fashion and textile industries.
Sustainable Angle Director Nina Marenzi and Curator Amanda Johnston were invited to present, showcase a curated materials Pop up, and participate in the CFDA’s 7th Education Summit. The aim of the Summit is to foster unity between education and industry, and to activate dialogue around relevant issues. This invite only event drew faculty members from twenty of the most prestigious fashion programs in the U.S, and a range of speakers and educational workshops contributing to discussion around the theme; ‘Materials Matter, from test tube to emerging industry innovations.’
Steven Kolb, CEO and President of the CFDA, introduced the event, and Sara Kozlowski, Director of Education and Professional Development coined the phrase “creative Darwinism” to describe the urgency with which the fashion industry must adapt in this new industrial revolution.
Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch spoke about what motivated him to transform a career in design and product development into a new kind of environmentalism with creativity and collaboration at its core, explaining the Parley AIR Strategy (Avoid, Intercept, Redesign) in response to the problem of ocean plastic. Marc Dolce, VP and Creative Director of Adidas Brooklyn Farm explained the collaborative creative partnership with Parley, and the Adidas commitment to remove virgin plastic from its supply chain.
Dr Amanda Parkes, Chief Innovation Officer at FutureTech Lab highlighted a plethora of key innovations emerging in bio materials and technological advances poised to positively disrupt our materials and interaction with technology.
Yuly Fuentes-Medel, Director from Fashion Descience, spoke about The Next Generation of Designers, and the need to unite design thinking and practice with science disciplines to enable much needed innovation in our industry for a more sustainable future.
Other speakers included Marina Coutelan from Premiere Vision on unlocking the potential of sustainable fashion, and Guisy Bettoni from C.L.A.S.S.
We know that the fashion and textiles industry is one of the most polluting in the world, but it is also one of the most influential. Fashion designers, and especially educators and students, have the power to play a pivotal role in the creation of a better reality for the future. We have the imagination and creativity to envision a new landscape for our industry where economic systems can thrive in harmony with the ecosystem of nature.
See more here: https://cfda.com/news/inside-the-2018-fashion-education-summit
Last week we held our 7th annual #CFDAEducationSummit and WOW was it a success! This year’s conversations between schools, designers, special guests & industry professions surrounded the importance of materials. Head to CFDA.com for more on the event! https://cfda.com/news/inside-the-2018-fashion-education-summitVideo by Alberto Caruana
Posted by Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) on Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Photos and Video by Alberto Caruana
The Sustainable Angle collaborated with seven London designers this season, to inspire and support their fabric sourcing through The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo.
The results of this specially commissioned project, in partnership with Arizona Muse were showcased in the Designers showroom at London Fashion Week.
The aim was to communicate the quality, diversity and desirability of a range of sustainable fabrics and materials. By showcasing designs made with innovative and sustainable materials that represent the future of sustainable design, the designers set an inspiring example to other creators.
Through this project showcased at LFW, these designers are now armed with the knowledge to question existing out-dated embedded practices, and are discovering sustainable innovative fibres and fabrics that are desirable and commercially viable.
Several of the designers were so impressed by the quality of the fabrics and style shown in our Future Fabrics Expo, that they integrated them into their main collection.
At the London Fashion Week Discovery Lab, we showed the ‘Future of Fashion Materials, and showed visionary materials, such as bio-degradable sequins , experimental biomaterials embellishments, and photosynthesising textiles – reinforcing the future focused message of our LFW Desginers showroom. The Discovery Lab created much interest amongst visitors, stylists, bloggers, press and buyers.
EXPLORE FUTURE FABRICS WITH THE SUSTAINABLE ANGLE
AT THE DISCOVERY LAB
LONDON FASHION WEEK 2018
Sustainability is not a passing ‘trend’ or an option, but an urgent call for action from our industry. It presents new opportunities for re-imagining how we make our fashion products, encouraging an industry that embraces innovation.
VISIONARY designers recognise that creativity begins with imagination, but that it also involves curiosity and questioning the very substance of our materials and how we create, make and communicate fashion. An awareness of the impacts of their choices upon people, planet and nature is crucial if we are to sustain our industry intelligently.
The not-for-profit organisation The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo was conceived in response to a lack of access to sustainable innovative materials, and aims to facilitate and encourage more responsible practices throughout the fashion supply chain.
Explore our DISCOVERY LAB, which features a curated selection of exciting emerging innovations and commercially available sustainable materials from our Future Fabrics Expo that spotlight ingenious developments: from bio-degradable sequins, experimental biomaterials, and photosynthesising textiles.
Join us to DISCOVER the future of fashion materials!
London Fashion Week registration link: https://secure10.eventadv.com/BFC/login.aspx?reg=1
Event Manager: (All enquiries)
Dates and Times: 16 – 20th February 2017
Address: Designer Showrooms, The Store Studios, 180 Strand, London, WC2R 1EA
The Sustainable Angle is a not for profit organisation. Its main project, the Future Fabrics Expo, promotes sustainable practices throughout the fashion supply chain and connects sustainable innovative fabrics suppliers with fashion designers.
The journey toward true design intelligence begins with sustainable innovative fashion materials sourcing. Through our projects such as the Future Fabrics Expo, we inspire designers to start working with more sustainable fashion materials for their collections.
Through this showroom at LFW, designers are armed with the knowledge to question out-dated embedded practices and are discovering sustainable innovative fibres and fabrics that are commercially viable and represent the future of fashion. see more HERE
In collaboration with Arizona Muse, we are excited to showcase clothes by designers:
About the showroom Arizona Muse said “It’s been a super fun experience to see these Designers I admire so much make beautiful sustainable garments! What a dream”
The pieces and outfits realised in responsibly produced sustainable innovative fabrics and materials sourced via The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo.
In order to visit the London Designer Showrooms you will need to register at the following link: https://secure10.eventadv.com/BFC/login.aspx?reg=1
The 7th Future Fabrics Expo (FFE) showcased 5000 sustainable innovative fashion materials that are commercially available from around 150 suppliers on 24th-25th January 2018 at Iris Studios, London, to over 1000 visitors from the fashion industry.
The Future Fabrics Expo was again a showcase with an atmosphere that was buzzing and excitement was in the air throughout the two days as visitors discovered sustainable innovative materials that they can work with today, that are true, sustainable, viable alternatives to the conventional fibres currently available. As usual, it was so busy that there was a danger of having to close the expo to new visitors as we reached full capacity. The BBC Worldservice film crew came over to film the FFE in order to feature part of it in their upcoming documentary on sustainable fashion.
Visitors left feeling motivated for change having gained access to 150 suppliers contact details, having experienced 5000 materials and individual information about their certifications. Visitors left empowered, ready for change, armed with knowledge gained through the seminars, through the explanations written on the back of each fabric card attached to each material.
The 5000 fashion materials that were on display in 7th Future Fabrics Expo embody a range of sustainable principles and new technologies, sourced from international suppliers and mills who demonstrate a commitment to lowering the environmental impact across the textile supply chain.
The two day event, set up in 2011 for the first time, is the largest showcase dedicated to sustainable innovative materials and is unique in that it is a curated showcase accompanied by educational background information displayed throughout the showcase in order to promote and facilitate more informed material selections and practices within the fashion industry.
To achieve this, a seminar programme runs alongside the showcase, featuring speakers from some of the most influential organisations involved in sustainable textiles
and fashion at this moment:
From innovations such as biodegradable sequins, to Orange Fiber (made from citrus peel waste of the food industry), post consumer recycled denims, grape leather (from the wine industry), textiles from Pineapple plants, to more traditional qualities such as sustainable denims, low impact wools, organic cotton knits and wovens, low impact silks and cellulosics like TencelTM and TencelTM Luxe following the circular economy model, the FFE prides itself in showing sustainable fashion materials that are commercially available today. They represent true sustainable alternatives to the widely available conventional fabrics that currently dominate the market which are unsustainable (conventional cotton and polyester).
Alongside this we also show fabrics and materials of the Future within our innovations section. This year we showed an amazing range including bio-degradable sequins from Rachel Clowes, post carbon fashion that merges algae with fibres from Dianjen and biomaterials developed and grown with food-grade a project from Maryssa and Laure, with the innovations section we want to give our attendees something to think about the future of the materials they are using.
The Sustainable Angle: The Sustainable Angle is a not for profit organisation set up in Switzerland which initiates and supports projects that contribute to lowering the environmental impact of industry and society mainly the fashion industry
* For updates follow us on instagram
* Read the Ellen Macarthur Foundation report HERE
The Sustainable Angle sat down with one of our sponsors the Lenzing Group to talk about their new sustainable innovations. We have the pleasure of showcasing this forward-thinking company at the 7th Future Fabrics Expo 24-25th Jan’18 (Tickets available here: http://bit.ly/2i1ie3d). The Lenzing Group have worked with some of the world’s best known fashion brands, and are constantly bringing out new innovative materials for the textiles industry such as Ecovero™, Refibra™ and Tencel™ to name just a few of the well known fibers they produce.
We asked Lenzing Group to tell us more about their work and how they see the future of fashion materials in terms of sustainability. Read the full conversation below, and discover a range of Lenzing Group fibers with a reduced environmental impact at the 7th Future Fabrics Expo:
TSA – Tell us a few words about Lenzing’s latest innovation, Tencel Luxe which has just been launched
The new lyocell filament of the Lenzing Group, TENCEL™ Luxe branded lyocell filament, heralds a new era of sustainable fabrics for the premium luxury market. It is another key milestone in the innovation history of Lenzing and it is the first time, that Lenzing enters the filament market. It will further support Lenzing’s shift to become a true
specialty player in the botanic materials market derived from sustainable wood sources.
TENCEL™ Luxe eco-botanic lyocell filaments are made from wood pulp, which is made from sustainable wood in line with Lenzing’s strict Wood and Pulp Policy, offering superior aesthetics, performance and comfort level that allow them to be the perfect partner with other noble fibers such as silk, cashmere or wool. The smooth surface TENCEL™ Luxe gives fabrics a silky smooth feel and liquid-like drape for the most sensual silhouettes.
Feel free to visit us at The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo, where we will present a variety of fabrics made with Lenzing fibers!
TSA – Which blends do you think are the most successful, Refibra or is it 100% Tencel that is your favourite – maybe because it is guaranteed biodegradable?
Both fibre types are biodegradable and based on the closed-loop lyocell production process. However RefibraTM branded lyocell fibers as a special fiber within the lyocell fibers family – due to the usage of cotton scraps from garments production as a raw material – offers a solution to the textile industry on circularity.
TSA – Lenzing Group has continuously innovated, pushing boundaries over the last few years – where do you see the future going ?
Lenzing further investigates new products and business models. One of these topics points to solutions for the re-usage of actual garments as a raw material for our RefibraTM fibers.
TSA – Lenzing has so many different segments that it is working in from personal hygiene products to interiors to shoes components, where do you see the biggest growth in the future with consumers becoming more aware of the negative effects of their shopping habits?
We intend to grow in all segments of our business. As the fashion industry is being watched closely by NGOs we support further circular business models and cooperate with brands in their sourcing along the whole value chain.
TSA – With the Ellen MacArthur foundation’s latest report “A new textiles economy: redesigning fashion’s future’ where Lenzing Group was a partner, there is a renewed call for action and collaboration in the fashion industry. Where do you see the main obstacles to this taking hold as fast as possible?
The fashion industry is going through challenging times and it is not easy to make a whole industry to change from one day to another, it will take time. It is a long journey and we are very proud to support the industry on this trip with offering solution on a fibre base and giving direction with valuable supply chain partners.
Here at The Sustainable Angle we love to collaborate with like minded sustainable fashion pioneers and for collaborations like this project with Arizona Muse, we assist fashion brands such as Felder Felder to source sustainable fabrics from the 4000 materials in the Future Fabrics Expo from more than 100 companies.
Assisting Felder Felder finding the right fabric to dress Arizona Muse resulted first in creating a jumpsuit made with TencelTM fabric made from Lenzing Group’s cellulosic fibres from sustainable certified wood sources, closed loop processed, which is even biodegradable.
This exciting collaboration will feature several outfits over the coming months.
Model, mother, world citizen – Arizona is an American fashion model, living in London. She has successfully been in the fashion industry since she was a teenager and now she is engaged with moving the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction.
Involved with Fashion Revolution and being a speaker on the panel of TSA’s Future of Fashion talk at London Fashion Week, September 2017. Arizona is becoming an active voice promoting sustainability in fashion.
German-born, but certainly London-ensconced, Dani and Annette Felder launched their eponymous brand Felder Felder in 2007/2008, after graduating from the prestigious Central Saint Martins.
Their collection was received to critical acclaim, and soon established Felder Felder on the London fashion scene. Felder Felder have looked into ways to introduce a sustainable approach to their creativity, through upcycling, working with sustainable materials and exciting projects.
Focusing on creating media savvy designs to push the boundaries of fashion, sustainability, design and technology, they have partnered with BMW-i3, BMW-i8 as well as Formula e.
Leaders in innovation, Lenzing Group’s fibres made into luxurious fabrics were an immediate fit for this collaboration.
Developing sustainable processes for 75 Years to make functional fibres for modern society out of cellulose, sourced from certified sustainable wood plantations, processed via a closed loop technology, and being biodegradable, it is the way for the future.
Softer than Silk – TENCEL® branded lyocell fibers from the house of Lenzing AG are of botanic origin, since they are extracted from the raw material wood which is from sustainable certified wood planatations and responsibly made in a circular system. Fiber production itself is ecofriendly, due to the closed loop system. On the day that the TENCEL® fibers were invented, a new chapter was written in the history of fibers. Textiles of TENCEL® fibers are more absorbent than cotton, softer than silk and cooler than linen.Arizona Muse and Daniel Lismore at the Houses of Parliament, launch of Graduate Fashion Week 2018
At The Sustainable Angle’s ‘Future of Fashion Talk’ during London Fashion Week September 2017, the three organisations as well as Arizona Muse connected over their mutual commitment to sustainability in fashion. Arizona is becoming an active voice promoting sustainability in fashion. Together they are turning ‘occasion dressing’ on its head, demonstrating how it can be stunningly beautiful and responsibly made at the same time.
The Sustainable Angle brings fashion materials to like minded brands and stars from the world of modelling and film, and facilitates access to sustainable innovative materials for collaborations like this, which sees Felder Felder designing evening looks for Arizona Muse, using Lenzing Group’s fibres.
For more information contact: email@example.com
INSTA @THESUSTAINABLEANGLE @CARVEDINBLUE @FELDERFELDER @ARIZONA_MUSE
TWITTER @SUSTAINABLE_ANG @LENZINGAG @FELDERFELDER @ARIZONAMUSE
A very exciting new fibre is on the horizon! Now Lenzing Group have just launched TENCEL™ Luxe branded filaments, the new player for sustainable high-end cellulose textiles! Offering superior aesthetics, performance and comfort level that allow them to be the perfect partner with other noble fibres such as silk, cashmere or wool. The smooth surface of the TENCEL™ branded Luxe filament gives fabrics a silky smooth feel and liquid-like drape for the most sensual silhouettes. Moreover, TENCEL™ Luxe branded filaments are naturally breathable due to their wood-based origin (from sustainable forest plantations certified Forest Stewardship council FSC) and offer outstanding colour fastness, enabling designers to express bold colour palettes where creativity knows no boundaries.
TENCEL™ Luxe Filamente
Back in the 1980s with the invention of the TENCEL™ fibre, a new chapter in fibre history was opened. The innovation made the viscose process cleaner and more environmentally friendly. It has all the beautiful handling properties without leaking toxic effluent that damages our environment.
Tencel™ is a fibre now well known in the textile industry for producing excellent more sustainable fibres, suitable for crafting in to durable denims, too.
The Sustainable Angle supports welcomes fibres such as this. Extending the fibre basket and providing a greater range of sustainable fibres with a diversity of characteristics to meet the fashion market’s need for sustainable, low impact fibres.
We are excited to see these new materials very soon in our studio. Tencel™ Luxe is truly a fibre for the future! Along with Tencel™ Luxe materials, we are excited to showcase other Tencel™, Lenzing Modal ™, Refibra, Ecovero and blends, over 3,000+ more sustainable materials at the Future Fabrics Expo in January 24-25th January 2018.
TENCEL™ Luxe Launch Event in Paris
Lenzing Group is a world market leader based in Austria with offices and facilities worldwide. Lenzing Group supplies the global textile industries with high-quality, botanical cellulose fibres. Modal™ and Tencel™ are two well-known examples. TENCEL™ is a Lyocell fibre from Lenzing. It is of botanical origin since it is extracted from the raw material wood. The fibre production itself is particularly environmentally friendly because of a closed circuit.
The Sustainable Angle is excited to report that we have arrived at London Fashion Week! As part of the #londonfashionweek Positive Fashion initiative that launched in September 2017, The Sustainable Angle held a talk: ‘Future of Fashion: sustainable innovation at its core’ which took place on the 18th September 2017, an unprecedented subject to be discussed in the catwalk space of London Fashion Week.
Chaired by The Sustainable Angle’s Amanda Johnson, the panel included key leaders of the fashion and textile industry:
Helen Sahi talked about Avery Dennison’s big picture approach to sustainability, by being ambitious about its goals and seeing itself as a key change initiator. Helen is a member of the board of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and works together with other major fashion and shoe brands on the continual development of the Higg Index, a self-assessment standard for assessing environmental and social sustainability throughout the supply chain.
Avery Dennison RBIS supports the fashion industry to make sustainable packaging and labelling solutions a reality by, for example, using renewable resources in packaging.
Helen also highlighted that while Avery Dennison as primarily a label supplier in the fashion industry has a seemingly limited environmental impact, its influence is much greater as widely assumed. Not only is Avery Dennison a key player with an annual revenue of $6.3 billion and thereby able to set new trends influencing partners and competitors alike, but with the growing importance of recycling in the clothing industry, labelling itself is gaining importance. If you don’t know where your garment came from and what it is made out of, it is difficult to know where it can go at the end of a consumer life-cycle.
Oya Barlas-Bingul from the Lenzing Group highlighted some of the core benefits of their closed-loop production process of cellulose fibres and highlighted that challenging the status quo of today’s fibre mix is at the very core of the values of Lenzing Group. One of their latest innovation, Refibra™, has just been launched on the market, and a brand new innovation for the luxury market is being introduced in October 2017 in Paris.
New innovations that lessen the burden on our resources, and close the loop on our waste streams are needed. There are estimates that the need for clothing will have doubled by the year 2025. Refibra™ fibres, are one solution to this problem, as they are not made from virgin material, but partially made from pulp that contains cotton scraps left over from post industrial cutting operations and sustainably managed wood, FSC certified. The fibre is produced in a closed loop lyocell process. When the question was raised about prices of sustainable materials, she emphasized the point that there are major efficiencies that come into play when using Lenzing’s yarns which reduce the price overall in the production stage.
Henry Palmer from Bysshe talked about some of the challenges small companies in the textile supply chain are facing and expressed frustration at the limited financial investments in sustainable innovations currently around. As Co-Founder of Bysshe, a small but thriving mill in the UK of high-quality cotton/hemp blended fabrics, he highlighted that the sustainable textile industry could easily expand faster if more investment was available, and hence become competitive: Scalable production will allow prices of sustainable materials to drop, and will therefore become more widely accessible.
He also gave some insights into Bysshe dyeing practices and options available. Bysshe are currently using high quality synthetic dyes form trusted partners in the UK, for their hemp/cotton denims. The combination of the low impact synthetic dye with their fabrics which are as low impact on the environment (hemp being a bast fibre) and of a high social standard make a great long lasting and responsible high-quality fabric. While they are trying to revive old practices, Bysshe is not afraid of using modern technology, if used responsibly.
Daniel Lismore spoke about how core it is to harness creativity by pushing forward innovative ideas and highlighted his insights from a designer’s perspective. The role of the designer has to evolve with the sustainability challenge.
He also drew attention to the fact how significant the impact of a single person can be and encouraged those with a voice to use it to challenge the status quo and change the industry from within. Daniel himself started to use recycling techniques in his design and art projects and has fronted the Close the Loop sustainability in fashion campaign for H&M.
Arizona Muse was giving us an insight into her personal interest and involvement in supporting projects which lower the environmental impact of the industry. She highlighted how important it increasingly became for her to be involved in meaningful projects and highlighted that for her, sustainability is a mind-set — not only is it very interesting to learn about but it’s also very exciting and fun to be engaged in. This mind-set has for her opened new, interesting doors. She also highlighted how the fashion industry should tell more the ‘story’ of the garment.
The Sustainable Angle is thrilled that our message to the fashion industry was heard loud and clear at our talk at #LFW. Sustainable thinking and operations have to be placed at the heart of our industry practices, but above all they present opportunities that are positive, exciting and bring efficiencies and possibilities that make sense not only for the environment but future-proof businesses.
At The sustainable Angle we are proud to announce that our partners from the Lenzing Group will be hosting a masterclass at our studio in West London. The core competence of the Lenzing Group is producing botanic fibers for the textile and fashion industry from the renewable raw material of wood. Masters of closed loop fibers including TENCEL®, Lenzing Modal®, Lenzing Viscose® and latest innovative fibres as Refibra™ and EcoVero™ the Lenzing Group will teach us about fibers and how to evaluate the sustainability of what we are using.
What to expect:
* A breakdown of fibers from the Lenzing Group
* Receive our coveted sustainable sourcing guide, including list of suppliers and their contact detail.
* Experience a selection of over 3000+ materials and textiles with a lower environmental impact.
* Get hands on with innovative materials including TENCEL® and Lenzing Modal® mixes.
* Learn about sustainable practices within the fashion industry.
* Read detailed specifications for how each material on display is uniquely sustainable.
The Future Fabrics Expo is a showcase of innovative and traditional commercially available fibres, fabrics and products that embody a range of sustainable principles and new technologies, sourced from international suppliers and mills who demonstrate a commitment to lowering environmental impact across the textile supply chain. It includes more sustainable alternatives to the widely available conventional fabrics that currently dominate the market, helping fashion companies to begin diversifying their fabric base and lowering their environmental impact at the same time. Materials at our studio will be ideally suited for a wide range of market levels and product types.
Early Bird tickets starting from £90 (Normal price £130)
GET TICKETS HERE
Date: 18th October 2017
Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm
Address: Unit 7a, 160 Barlby Road, London, W10 6BS
How to get there:
The Future Fabrics Expo Masterclass will be held at our West London studio, London.
The nearest tube stations are:
– Ladbroke Grove – only 0.6 miles from our studio
– Kensal Green
– Kensal Rise Overground
Please contact us if you require further information at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our new masterclass Mastering Sustainability – material sourcing for designers will be held at our West London Studio on the 7th November.
We have added more dates for our masterclasses due the high demand we had from fashion brands following on from our previous classes earlier on this year.
”With clear presentations, inspiring examples and hands on sample exploration, the Future Fabrics Expo Masterclass has really given me the further understanding and confidence to begin making lasting sustainable changes in my own company.” – Matthew Oliver, Product Designer, Larsson & Jennings
The first in the series will teach designers about material sourcing and the decisions that need to be made as a designer from a sustainable angle. Furthermore we give attendees the chance to discover a diverse range of sustainable materials and resources from the Future Fabrics Expo collection. They will receive our coveted sustainable sourcing guide, which includes a list of suppliers and their contact details.
What to expect:
The Masterclass runs from 9.30am – 12.30pm at 9.30am we’ll have coffee before a prompt start at 10am. You will experience over 3000+ materials with a lower environmental impact, touch and feel them at your leisure after learning about what you should be taking into consideration when sourcing materials sustainably. The masterclass is an interactive and tactile experience to interest and inspire you. You will be given guidance to prepare you for the decisions you’ll need to make as a designer when sourcing and makes it easier for your brand to integrate sustainability at the heart of what you do.
The Future Fabrics Expo is a showcase of innovative and traditional commercially available fibres, fabrics and products that embody a range of sustainable principles and new technologies, sourced from international suppliers and mills who demonstrate a commitment to lowering environmental impact across the textile supply chain. It includes more sustainable alternatives to the widely available conventional fabrics that currently dominate the market, helping fashion companies to begin diversifying their fabric base and lowering their environmental impact at the same time. Materials at our studio will be ideally suited for a wide range of market levels and product types.
Early Bird tickets starting from £90 (Normal price £130) you can book now >>>> http://bit.ly/2wTw1zk
The Future Fabrics Expo Masterclass will be held at our West London studio, London.
The nearest tube stations are:
– Ladbroke Grove – only 0.6 miles from our studio
– Kensal Green
– Kensal Rise Overground
Please contact us if you require further information at email@example.com
See more testimonials from our Masterclasses here:
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.
The 7th Future Fabrics Expo will take place in London on 24th – 25th January 2018, and we look forward to showcasing an exciting range of materials with a reduced environmental impact, more than ever before.
BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW for the 7th Future Fabrics Expo held at Iris Studios, London, and receive further updates.
Alongside our showcase of innovative fabrics with a lower environmental footprint, we also feature low impact leathers and leather alternatives. Background information explaining sustainability in materials is displayed throughout the showcase.
Our curated materials collection embodies a range of sustainable principles and new technologies, sourced from international suppliers and mills who demonstrate a commitment to lowering the environmental impact across the textile supply chain. Our aim is to support sustainable sourcing, enabling fashion brands to begin diversifying their fabrics and materials basket, in order to contribute to reducing their environmental impact. Each fabric has detailed specifications regarding its environmental impact, relevant certifications and the contact details of the supplier displayed.
As in 2017, we will again feature seminars from key organisations and innovators, highlighting circular economy systems and transparency in the fashion supply chain. See Previous seminars HERE
The presentations of the seminars from 2017 can be accessed via the edited online version of the Future Fabrics Expo here: www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com/6th-future-fabrics-expo-2017
To mark the occasion of the Graduate Fashion Week’s Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainable and Ethical Award sponsored, by Lenzing Group, the Sustainable Angle who supported the award, organised a panel discussion ‘Designing for Sustainability in fashion’.
Nina Marenzi, founder and director of The Sustainable Angle, gave an introduction about the organisation and how the sustainable materials sourced by TSA inspire and show a future where we can manage resources wisely and cost effectively, and recognise sustainability as a positive game changer. Fair and responsible labour practices need to be an integral part of the operations of all businesses.
Chaired by The Sustainable Angle’s Amanda Johnston, the panel included key leaders of the fashion and textile industry:
The discussion centred around examples of more sustainable and responsible materials for fashion both man-made and natural fibres which have a lower environmental impact, highlighting the variety of choices available and the necessity to move away from conventional, unsustainable polyester and cotton currently dominating the market.
The Lenzing Group highlighted their closed-loop production process and key benefits of their different fibres such as TENCEL™ and Refibra™.
Oya Barlas Bingul explained how Lenzing group fibres to be more sustainable at every step in every season. She insisted upon transparency, certifications and traceability being key, all met for fibres such as Refibra™ branded lyocell fibres from cotton scraps and wood is produced in an eco-friendly closed-loop production process of 99.7% and its use of bioenergy. Lenzing is thereby the first manufacturer to offer cellulose fibres featuring recycled material on a commercial-scale. This process is reducing the need to extract raw materials from nature, lowering the impact on natural resources and initiating an important step towards the circular economy for textiles.
Bysshe, a mill specialising in the use of natural fibres emphasised that to ensure a fabric range that protects the environment and supports non-exploitative textile production, sustainability, informed decision-making and regional autonomy are crucial in the long run.
Henry Palmer also talked about the different dying options available and about possibly using synthetic dyes if they are produced with a lower environmental impact.
The panel also discussed some of the challenges to make the change happen, as more and more people seem to desire. Tamsin Lejeune talked about how SOURCE giving the industry an easy platform to facilitate research and industry collaboration, ensuring that best-practice enterprises are benefitting by being featured on the top of every search.
A real insight in the challenges designer brands face came from Johannes Kraeter who talked about the product development process of the multiple lines of Vivienne Westwood, highlighting besides others that sustainability goes ways beyond choosing the right fibres or production processes, but is also about the quality and longevity of garments implying the huge environmental impact that comes from today’s throw away culture of clothing.
After these insights a Q & A followed which led to an engaged discussion of not only how to make the right fibre choices, but most importantly of how to think creatively and how sustainability should be recognised as a game changer and an opportunity, not a burden, for businesses as well as society overall.
Since its launch in 2011, The Future Fabrics Expo, presented by The Sustainable Angle, has continued to develop as a unique sourcing platform for sustainable materials. This includes providing the fashion industry with sustainable materials knowledge, innovations and general information about sustainability in fashion, all situated within an extensive showcase of 3000 globally sourced materials from over 100 mills, all with a reduced environmental impact.
A key aspect of the Future Fabrics Expo experience is how the tactile experience of a broad range of sustainable materials, and contextual knowledge informs creative and sustainable decision making, leaving our visitors inspired, informed and ready for change.
There is an urgent imperative for the fashion industry to transition to an industry with a reduced environmental footprint. Therefore our emerging graduates need to be armed with knowledge about sustainability and their responsibility as future creators.
Making this knowledge and experience of sustainable materials available to both lecturers and students, this new educational resource is an indispensable tool. It provides an educational tool kit for lecturers with which sustainable materials knowledge can be embedded into the curriculum.
With a download including 13 modules, accompanied by swatch boxes, sustainable materials can be integrated into existing fashion education curricula, stage by stage, efficiently and at low cost.
The downloadable teaching resource for an in-depth learning experience:
Through guided interaction with 13 modules, students learn about sustainable materials, defined by provenance of fibre, their processing journey, and by what criteria they are more sustainable. Students are also offered a tactile experience by relating this learning to the swatches supplied in the swatch boxes accompanying each module.
The swatches are made up of diverse types of sustainable materials which match the educational modules, and enable a tactile learning experience, reinforcing the core texts.
Download content and swatch boxes are available at a competitive yearly subscription rate, which is supported by The Sustainable Angle’s funding through our environmental foundations and sponsors.
The Dame Vivienne Westwood sustainable and ethical award is part of Graduate Fashion Week, London, 4 -7th June, 2017, and is given to a student for designing and creating a sustainable, ethically aware and socially responsible product with a lower environmental impact. The award is sponsored by Lenzing Group, a world market leader in the global textile and nonwovens industry producing high-quality botanic fibers.
The awarded design must embody and communicate sustainable and ethical practices using sustainable raw materials with a lower envrionmental impact, manufacturing and production techniques.
The judging panel of the award consists of:
The award is announced on 5th June 2017 at Graduate Fashion Week. Part of the award is a cash prize as well as a visit to The Sustainable Angle studio which is a supporter of the award, as well as The Ethical Fashion Forum, promoting designers in sustainable fashion.
The awarded garment will be shown again at the Graduate Fashion Week event in October 2017 at the Houses of Parliament.