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 firstname.lastname@example.orgSee more testimonials from our Masterclasses here: 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
We are excited to have Lenzing Group as our new sponsor. Lenzing is a world market leader in the global textile and nonwovens industry producing high-quality botanic fibers. The natural resource wood, which is the basic material for these fibers is sourced only from sustainable origins – within Austria and other countries LenzingTM fibers come from nature and as they are biodegradable go back to nature.
For years our Future Fabrics Expo has showcased dozens of mills who weave and knit fabrics made with fibers from the Lenzing Group. Only fashion materials with a lower environmental impact are shown in the expo and many of the 3000+ fabrics from our 100 suppliers in the expo are made with LenzingTM fibers.
We are excited to now have Lenzing Group itself involved as the fibre maker of these sustainable fabrics and knits. The fibres of Lenzing Group are made from dissolving wood pulp to standard and specialty cellulose high-quality fibres. The most important brands of the Lenzing Group are: TENCEL®, RefibraTM, Lenzing Modal® and Lenzing Viscose®.
We are delighted to have Lenzing Group as our sponsor and helping us in our effort to introduce more sustainable fibres to the fashion industry, increase visibility of sustainable innovations, inform, educate and inspire the fashion community to work with fibres and fabrics with a lower environmental impact. Lenzing Group is committed to the principles of sustainable management with very high environmental standards and can underscore this commitment with numerous international sustainability certifications for its business processes as the most sustainable company in the sector. http://www.lenzing.com/en/responsibility/economic-responsibility/certifications.html
Lenzing’s quality and innovative strength set global standards for cellulose fibers. With 79 years of experience in fiber production, the Lenzing Group is the only company in the world which is able to produce significant volumes of all three cellulose fiber generations.
We are particularly excited by Lenzing Group’s new RefibraTM branded fiber, alyocell fiber, made from pulp that contains cotton scraps left over from cutting clothes and wood. With the Refibra™ fiber Lenzing has initiated an important step towards circular economy for textiles. The TENCEL® fiber won the EU prize for the most ecofriendly production process thanks to its closed loop production of more than 99% and its use of bioenergy. Wood as a renewable raw material from sustainable sourcing is another important aspect when it comes to the sustainability of TENCEL® fibers. The Refibra™ fibers now combine both advantages - the recycling of cotton scraps and the most sustainable of fiber technologies. The fiber is produced in the lyocell process. Lenzing is the first manufacturer to offer cellulose fibers featuring recycled material on a commercial scale and is a pioneer with this technology.
The group is headquartered in Austria, and operates production sites in all major markets as well as has a worldwide network of sales and marketing offices.
On March 10th, 2017 The Sustainable Angle founder Nina Marenzi was invited to be a part of The CSR and Ethical Business Society, London School of Economics, roundtable on “Fashion the Future: Towards Sustainability in the Fashion Industry” as part of their project week on sustainability.
The clothing industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, after the oil industry. Textile waste is increasingly a serious environmental threat. In recent years, the acceleration in speed of the fashion supply chain and changing consumer attitudes towards fashion as a disposable commodity has contributed to the large levels of textile waste generated worldwide. In the UK, an estimated 0.8 to 1 million tonnes of all textiles are sent to landfill each year, and used clothing accounts for approximately 350,000 tonnes of landfilled textiles, an estimated £140 million worth.
The CSR and Ethical Business Society at the LSE aims to raise awareness and draw interest of LSE students on the environmental issues posed by fashion industry, the fast-fashion paradigm and the role of consumers; and current initiatives addressing these issues across the clothes lifecycle.
Panellists made up of David Logan, Nina Marenzi, Christina Dean, Caroline Haycock and Jade Galston, each presented on the issues, solutions and future plans from their point of view within their field of expertise:
The roundtable featured the following panellists:
Christina Dean is a sustainable fashion advocate who founded Redress and the EcoChic Design Award. She has recently co-authored the consumer guide entitled ‘Dress [with] Sense’. Redress’s Frontline Fashion’, the documentary about how designers are changing the future of fashion has just been released and is available on itunes.
Christina Dean proclaimed that educating designers on sustainability is an act of environmental activism. Redress is helping teachers to learn about ideas on how to cut waste out of fashion, and generally about zero waste design and up-cycling.
Caroline Haycock has been working in Ethical responsibility and Quality assurance for more than 10 years she is now the Director of Ethical trade and corporate responsibility at Debenhams, Caroline has also worked on campaigns such as ‘Made by Great Britons' campaign in an effort to help bolster domestic textile production and revitalise the UK clothing industry.
During the talk Caroline referred to the work Debenhams is already undertaking with TRAID, a charity working to stop textiles and footwear from being thrown away to landfill reducing waste and carbon emissions, while raising funds to fight poverty. As well as the informative website on CSR and sustainability they have which you can see here: http://sustainability.debenhamsplc.com. Debenhams’ environmental responsiblitlies focus on carbon, energy and waste, reducing their impact through improved awareness of environmental problems, efficiency and sustainable investment.
Jade Galston founder of Fertha which gives a curated range of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories that has been hand picked from one of their charity partners, creating a sustainable and convenient shopping experience, and extra revenues for the charities they work with.
The roundtable was a great success with good questions from the audience demonstrating how many young people and students are interested in sustainability in the fashion industry, are questioning the status quo and are ready to take action. You can find out more about the work of The CSR and Ethical Business Society at LSE HERE.
The Eco Chic Design award has just been launched again and the deadline for application is 3rd April more information is available on their site HERE.
At the Sustainable Angle we spend much of our time researching and sourcing innovative textiles and materials with a lower environmental footprint and reducing the fashion industry’s over-dependency on conventional cotton and polyester. These materials are showcased in the annual Future Fabrics Expo as well as in workshops and Pop ups throughout the year, and a curated selection on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com. This year we are delighted to have FLAVIA AMADEU’s rubber from the Brazilian Rainforest included in the 6th Future Fabrics Expo 25 – 26th January 2017. You can book Tickets here: http://bit.ly/2bnxkLW
FLAVIA AMADEU supports small producers and artisans from Amazon rainforest, whose economic activities are integrated with the use of sustainable natural resources. The coloured rubber represents a process of social innovation, which resulted from years of research, and has been responsible for generating social transformation and environmental preservation. The Sustainable Angle asked Flavia Amadeu to tell us a little bit more about her work, and what the future holds.
TSA - Can you provide a brief outline about what FLAVIA AMADEU is and how it has evolved since its inception?
F – FLAVIA AMADEU is a design brand that supports small producers and artisans whose economic activities are integrated with the use of sustainable natural resources in the Amazon Rainforest. The company is specialised in the design and production of coloured wild rubber and an Amazonian rubberised textile. The company has evolved through years of research, building strong and trusting relationships with a key network including local producers, artisans and many partners from the public and private sectors, both inside and outside of the rainforest.
TSA - What first inspired you to start FLAVIA AMADEU? Was it a desire to improve sustainability in the fashion / textiles industries or something else?
F - Firstly, it started as a desire of promoting social change within my work alongside an early connection with the Amazon rainforest. These values merged during my research with the coloured rubber that began in 2004, in partnership with the Chemistry Laboratory LATEQ, University of Brasilia. This meeting soon became my life mission.
TSA - Can you tell us about any positive environmental / social impacts you have seen or expect to see as a result of FLAVIA AMADEU?
F - I have been working directly with local communities since 2011. Today, my suppliers are small producers who I taught rubber production methods to. It is great to see continuation and progression of the production chain, also enabling the inclusion of women in income generation. 2016 was the biggest year for social impact to date, generating positive achievements. Since my return to Brazil in December 2015, I have worked with more than 120 small producers and artisans; regularly working with 3 communities in the rainforest. In the State of Acre, Brazil, my work engages a local cooperative aside a vast network of people supporting my work including beneficiaries. Another great achievement is the involvement of women in the production chain of wild rubber, who have made up about 65% of the artisans and producers I have worked with.
I am so lucky to have seen such positive impacts spark from my work. When I first began working with communities in the rainforest, children who observed the process are now young adults whose lives have developed through interaction with this rubber production. I have seen women gaining more confidence involved in the production chain showing great enthusiasm about the rubber handcrafts that I introduced to them and even teaching others.
One of the key people I have worked with and spend time with is artisan and rubber tapper José de Araújo, who has become a recognised artisan in rubber handcrafts. He and his family managed to leave a state of poverty to buy land in the rainforest to protect, because of the development of his handmade unique and beautiful shoes. His wife Delcilene Araújo is an example of women empowerment. Nowadays she takes care of the stock, logistics, team work and became also a skilled artisan.
I hope FLAVIA AMADEU proceeds to benefit countless more producers and artisans. I aim for our projects to stimulate empowerment of women and promote more social and economic opportunities, also integrating supply chains in the Amazon rainforest.
TSA - At the moment FLAVIA AMADEU is a new and small-scale company creating innovations like natural rubber from the Amazon. How do you expect it to scale up and be used by the industry in the future – do you think it could eventually be a mainstream commercially used material, and would you want it to be?
F - The aim is definitely to expand, that FLAVIA AMADEU becomes an important reference in sustainable design. In order to scale up, we have been working to multiply the social innovation of the rubber among more producers. I am always looking for project and investment opportunities, which can add social and environmental values to the production chain. Overall, I would like the production to grow in a profitable, but balanced and sustainable way.
TSA - The fashion and textiles industries are some of the worst offenders out there for negative environmental and social impact. What do you think are the most pressing environmental and social challenges that we are facing in the industry?
F - The most pressing issue in my opinion is the human cost disregarded by the fashion and textile industry, which, of course, directly and indirectly relates to the natural environment. In order to put all costs down, life is neglected at all levels. Producers are primarily affected, still working in the most damaging and exploitative conditions in the 21th century! The Bangladesh tragedy put that in our faces and there is plenty more issues we are not being exposed to, for example, lives affected by pesticides, pollution of rivers coming from the washing of textiles and so many more. The drastic impacts drops upon the entire production chain, including the natural environment and final consumers.
TSA - What do you think is the biggest obstacle to becoming a more sustainable and less harmful industry?
F - I believe the biggest challenge is to change mind-sets. This means transformations across the production chains, from company policies to consumers.
The shift towards ecological products and manufacturing methods has begun, people are beginning to become more knowledgeable about the impact their purchases have and are keen to learn the story behind the work, but there is still a long way to go.
TSA - What are your plans moving forward?
F - My future plans include the ability to increase the social innovation of rubber among multiple more communities in the rainforest and to be able to empower women and attract young adults in sustainable work with this material. Additionally, I aim to expand the production and distribute Organic Jewellery globally, simultaneously designing more collections and products. Currently, I am applying for funding and seeking investors who are keen in supporting my business, helping it expand.
TSA - How can industry professionals and consumers get involved and engage with the work you are doing?
F - Information about the company values, artisans and sales of my products are available at www.flaviaamadeu.com.
At the Sustainable Angle we spend much of our time researching and sourcing innovative textiles and materials with a lower environmental footprint and reducing the fashion industry’s over-dependency on conventional cotton and polyester. These materials are showcased in the annual Future Fabrics Expo as well as in workshops and Pop ups throughout the year, and a curated selection on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com. This year we are delighted to have DANI S.p.A included as both exhibiter and speaker at the seminars during the 6th Future Fabrics Expo on the 25 – 26th January 2017. For seminars and Exhibition register here.
For more than 10 years, Dani has chosen to be a sustainable company, recognising the social and environmental responsibility principles that guide its current and future business accomplishments, that are oriented towards development of the company and its employees, while safeguarding the future generations. Dani S.p.A is a leading leather manufacturer that has chosen to compensate circa 2,000 tonnes of CO2 released for the production of "Zero Impact" leather.
We had the pleasure of interviewing DANI S.p.A Marketing Manager Marta Fumei about their Zero Impact leather and what obstacles they think the fashion industry needs to overcome to become a more sustainable industry.
TSA - Can you provide a brief outline about what Zero Impact is and how it has evolved since its inception?
DANI - As a 66 year old family owned tannery, at Dani we felt it was important to develop what would have not simply be a “new product” but an icon of our corporate philosophy -that touches each strategic choice and innovation technology- integrated in the company’s DNA.
This is how Zero Impact Leather was born. We developed this project in three winning moves.
More Innovation: Innovations along the production process thanks to technological improvement in un-hairing, tanning, re-tanning and finishing phases, to substitute all heavy metals.
Less Emission: Thanks to our ability to measure CO2 emissions and the innovations introduced in the production phases, we were able to lower our CO2 emissions by 5%
Zero Impact: To reach the total compensation of CO2 produced, we are involved in a reforestation program in partnership with AzzeroCO2. Since we started we already planted 1,869 trees in Italy.
TSA What first inspired the owners to start developing Zero Impact? Was it a desire to improve sustainability in the fashion and leather industries or something else?
DANI Thanks to the technology available today, there are less concerns related to the sustainability of leather tanning. Innovations have been implemented to all phases of the process to limit the use of natural resources, to recover the waste and to have a better control of the entire production while safeguarding the working environment and respecting the laws that regulate our industry.
The desire to brush off our shoulders the image of a polluting and carless industry guided our development and choices, until sustainability became for us the priority: we conduct ongoing research to reduce the environmental impact of our production and at the same time we collaborate with the tanning district of Arzignano, including the purifying plant, chemical companies and all other partners that transform our waste into other products.
TSA Can you tell us about any positive environmental / social impacts you have seen or expect to see as a result of Zero Impact?
DANI The realisation of this project was also possible thanks to the involvement, participation, suggestions and experiments conducted with our partners.
With this project we would like to approach even more sustainable brands, building together a product that is responsible for consumers, the environment and the future generation. We would like to build awareness about the possibility of producing in a more sustainable way, and about the fact that we always put the research of innovative products as a starting point for everything we do.
To prove this, for two years Dani has been publishing its Sustainability Report: distributing it is our free choice, and represents our will of informing our stakeholders about the impact of our activities in a social and environmental context, explain our remuneration policy and commitments to employees, provide information on the relationship with customers and suppliers, and our involvement with the local community.
TSA Do you expect Zero Impact to be used by more large industry players in the future?
DANI Of course! We know for a fact that we are not the only one looking into this kind of innovation, but above all, we know that our customers are looking more and more for a partner rather than a supplier, someone that is safe and reliable, that can assure a certain level of quality, especially when it comes to what do we use to tan our leather.
TSA The fashion, leather and textiles industries are some of the worst offenders out there for negative environmental and social impact. What do you think are the most pressing environmental and social challenges that we are facing in the industry?
DANI Unfortunately the past actions and the past practices undertaken by the fashion industry have not always proved them right. Is it also true, that the world as it is today cannot keep up with the increasing demand of throw away fashion: our habit has changed so much that, for a lot of people, now shopping is just a primary leisure and they want everything at a low price. The fashion industry has a very complex supply chain and, for this reason, companies should start looking at each stage and character of this: not only to reduce the use of natural resources and better select the raw material needed, but especially behaving ethically and contributing positively to the society and to the environment, everywhere in the world. It is important to pay attention to all the sustainable dimensions in order to start making the difference. When we only consider one or another, we lose something along the way and our commitment does not build as much.
TSA What do you think is the biggest obstacle to becoming a more sustainable and less harmful industry?
DANI The biggest obstacle would be not to focus on all aspects of sustainability but only on one of these. In fact, there cannot be an economy without a society, and a society cannot survive in an environment that will not last for long. We should not forget that the environment is the most important element, where everything happens and on which everything depends.
TSA What are your plans moving forward?
DANI With the project Zero Impact we would like to start a contagious activity, not only directed to our B2B customers, but also to the final consumer. We would like to bring to their attention the care and the attention we pay every day in what we do and how we do it. We are looking at the future imaging new partnership with University and research Institute, to make sure to build together innovations. We are also looking at young generations, trying to leave them with a knowledge about higher care for the society and the environment, and trying to give them the possibilities to grow with us.
TSA How can industry professionals and consumers get involved and engage with the work you are doing?
We always love to promote our “open door” policy, and one of our main aims is to welcome anyone that has is curious, or is willing to learn more about leather. We would like to invite professionals and consumers into our plants in Arzignano to experience a day at the tannery. We would like professionals to try our products while sharing the same visions and values. We are here to give you all the explanation you might need and to share our passion and our knowledge.
To find out more about DANI S.pA and their Zero Impact leather (http://www.zeroimpactleather.com & http://www.gruppodani.com)
At The Sustainable Angle we spend much of our time researching how fashion’s environmental impact can be lowered through textile innovation, and novel ideas to transform the fashion system and design practice. Certifications and standards play a hugely important part in the monitoring and transparency of these innovations and textile practices. Today we are continuing our questions with Christopher Stopes the UK Representative for The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). You will find hundreds of GOTS certified fabrics in the Future Fabrics Expo 25-26th January in London, as well as a preview of a selection of these fabrics in our Future Fabrics Virtual expo available 24hrs online here. If you missed Part 1 you can catch up here
TSA: In debates about more sustainable fibres, cotton is often considered as too ‘thirsty’ and therefore not a viable option for a future with low water tables. Would you say organic cotton is a viable option, though?
GOTS: Organic cotton uses less water, so it is an obvious choice if you want to be more sustainable. According to a report from MADE-BY for UK government, “Organic cotton production can reduce the toxicity, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions of growing cotton and has the potential to deliver added social benefits”. Buying organic cotton has been calculated by the Swiss organisation Helvetas to cut CO2 emissions by 18% when compared with buying conventional.
TSA: As the world’s leading standard for organic textile processing, what is GOTS’ biggest challenge moving forward?
GOTS: Making sure that the fashion industry cleans up its act through taking on board high standards, such as GOTS, that cover the whole supply chain and are independently certified. We want to make sure that the textile sector (fashion and apparel, work wear and personal care) provides a truly sustainable organic option, using organic approved processing and organically produced fibres. We are not only talking about organic cotton, but organic wool, linen and other organic fibres too.
TSA: Today the fashion industry is said to be the second most polluting industry in the world, next to the oil industry. What do you think are currently the most pressing environmental and social challenges in the fashion and textile industry?
GOTS: There is an urgent need to work to stop the appalling social conditions in the industry, one that depends too much on child labour, modern slavery, in unsafe buildings and bad working conditions. We see the consumption of cheap clothes on the backs of many people! And there are huge challenges from the highly polluting textile processing plants. GOTS places tight requirements on the permitted chemicals (GOTS exceeds the Greenpeace Detox requirements) and it is mandatory for GOTS certified textile wet-processing plants to have a working water treatment plant.
TSA: Where do you see the most potential for change in the fashion industry?
GOTS: Changing consumption patterns, caring for our clothes and making them from high quality organic fibres, in socially and ecologically sustainable value chains. That’s what GOTS is about! And it requires independent third party inspection and certification – so it overcomes one of the huge problems in the fashion industry – greenwash!
TSA: How do you think initiatives like the Future Fabrics Expo can help organisations such as yours?
GOTS: The Sustainable Angle and Future Fabrics Expo help spread the word and that means we can work better together and so help make a difference in the fashion industry!
TSA: How can industry professionals and consumers get involved and engage with the work GOTS do?
GOTS: Look at our GOTS simple show video to find out more about GOTS. Remember that there are important differences between organic and conventional cotton production and processing. Find out more about GOTS certification through the GOTS website.
We are delighted to introduce seminars at the 6th Future Fabrics Expo in London, 25-26 Jan’17 10am-5pm., a showcase of 1500+ materials with a lower environmental impact, accompanied by background information on sustainability in fashion.
Speakers from The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, The Responsible Wool Standard, Textile Exchange, GOTS and DANI S.p.A. Sustainable Leathers will present 30 minute seminars over two days.
Book tickets here
The Sustainable Wool Standard is an independent, voluntary standard. On farms, the certification ensures that sheep are treated with respect to their Five Freedoms and also ensures best practices in the management and protection of the land. Through the processing stages, certification ensures that wool from certified farms is properly identified and tracked. Find out more about The Sustainable Wool standard here
The Sustainable Apparel Coalition is the apparel, footwear and home textile industry’s foremost alliance for sustainable production. The Coalition’s main focus is on building the Higg Index, a standardized supply chain measurement tool for all industry participants to understand the environmental, social and labour impacts of making and selling their products and services. By measuring sustainability performance, the industry can address inefficiencies, resolve damaging practices, and achieve the environmental and social transparency that consumers are starting to demand. Find out more about The Sustainable Apparel Coalition here
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibers. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well. Find out more about The Global Organic Textile Standard here
Textile Exchange is a global non-profit organization that works to make the textile industry more sustainable. We work with everyone involved in making your textiles, including everything from clothes to sheets to towels and more. Together, we’re trying to help the textile world make better decisions so that we’re not only reducing harm to the environment but also bringing about positive change. We identify and share best practices regarding farming, materials and processing so we can reduce the impact on the world’s water, soil, air and human population. Read more about Textile Exchange here
DANI S.p.A was founded as a small family run tannery in Italy. The company is located in Arzignano (Vicenza), which is the main tanning center in the world. Their leather Zero Impact is chrome free, heavy metal free and complies with the specifications ISO15987. DANI was the first it its field to obtain the “environmental footprint” ISO/TS 14067:2013, an environmental indicator that quantifies the greenhouse gas produced along the whole supply chain, from agriculture to the finished leather. DANI intends to become a point of reference in the tanning industry for the efficient use of natural resources and energy, the use of low-impact chemicals, encouraging suppliers and customers to improve environmental operational practices, starting up research and development projects, transparent communications with local communities and the daily commitment of each and every employee. Read more about DANI S.p.A.’s ‘zero impact leather’ here.
If you are unable to attend the expo, please get in touch to discuss tailored workshops for your company. You can also find a curated selection of fashion materials with a reduced environmental impact on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com
In October Amanda Johnston travelled to Amsterdam, to present and showcase a selection of fabrics from The Sustainable Angle’s collection at Modint, the Dutch trade association and consultancy for fashion, interior design, and textiles at their headquarters in Zeist.
Amanda presented to an audience of SME’s and led an interactive seminar for Modint members about the Sustainable Angle’s material resources, and how to implement more responsible sourcing in their supply chain.
There was particular interest in recycled textiles, hemp, banana fibre and Pinatex, along with regenerates in innovative blends. The yet to be launched Biopolyester, ‘Ecodear’ from Toray was also a big hit. The day included presentations from Centexbel, the Belgian textiles research centre, Lenzing fibres explained their closed loop production, and Annet Feenstra from H&M spoke about their sustainable initiatives.
Modint also facilitated networking for small and larger companies to share their experiences of using alternative materials in their collections. Modint are about to publish their own Sustainable Materials guide and Eco-tool in November 2016 to help their members calculate their company’s impacts.
A big thanks to Modint for hosting The Sustainable Angle.
At The Sustainable Angle we spend much of our time researching how fashion’s environmental impact can be lowered through textile innovation, and novel ideas to transform the fashion system and design practice. Certifications and standards play a hugely important part in the monitoring and transparency of these innovations and textile practices. Today we are talking to Christopher Stopes the UK Representative for The Global Organic Textile Standard GOTS. You will find hundreds of GOTS certified fabrics in the Future Fabrics Expo 25-26th January in London, as well as a preview of a selection of these fabrics in our Future Fabrics Virtual expo available 24hrs online here.
TSA: Can you provide an outline of GOTS’ aims?
GOTS: The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) aims to be the comprehensive ecological and social standard for the entire textile supply chain based on the use of certified organic fibres. It is the gold standard for sustainable organic textiles.
Organically produced fibre is required in GOTS. This means that on the organic farm no GMOs, no artificial fertilisers and no agro-chemicals are used. Instead certified organic farmers use crop rotation and alternative methods of crop production.
GOTS covers textile processing, manufacture, labelling and sale of clothes and other products through to the final consumer. Permitted chemicals allowed in textile processing meet stringent criteria for environmental and human health (exceeding Greenpeace Detox requirements).
There are clear ecological and social benefits from the strict criteria in the standard. Customers can check the certification ID on a GOTS certified product in the GOTS Public Database.
TSA: Can you tell us more about what you think the future looks like for the organic cotton market, in a world where fertile soil is becoming ever more limited and eventually required for increased food production?
GOTS: It’s really important that we look after our soils and that means fostering natural cycles. Organic farming produces cotton and other fibres in a way that helps protect the environment and enhance biodiversity. The demand for organic cotton is growing steadily as more and more people realise the social and environmental problems with GM and pesticide based cotton. Organic cotton farming depends on crop rotation including food crops, so small farmers benefit from better food security – something that can be really important for them.
TSA: With most cotton usually being grown in monocultures, can smaller organic cotton farms ever grow enough cotton to replace what is currently grown in intensive agriculture?
GOTS: The other way of thinking about that question is whether we can afford to go on as we are! We are consuming cotton too freely, for fast fashion – where we throw away our clothes without a second thought. There is a huge challenge ahead about rethinking our consumption – of food, and fashion, and many other things. Thinking that we can rely on conventional intensive monocultures is old thinking. We can produce enough if we produce with the principals of health, care, ecology and fairness – we just have to look after what we produce!
TSA: Can you describe your favourite encounter with an organic cotton farmer or other hands-on-experience while working for GOTS?
GOTS: One of the most inspiring things about organic cotton farming is the stories from small farmers for whom organic production has meant that they can free themselves from the dependency on dangerous pesticides and grow organic cotton and food crops in rotation so helping to feed their families. I love the three great stories from farmers in China, India and Benin in the Soil Association Report Organic Cotton Helps to Feed the World. They really show how organic cotton can make a difference.
Last week The Sustainable Angle’s Amanda Johnston was invited by GLE ONE London to hold an interactive sustainable materials and sourcing workshop. The workshop was hosted by UFKT (UK Fashion & Textile Association) at their Headquarters in Holborn. Aimed at London based designers and brands the free workshop was initiated to focus on sustainable materials and sourcing, exploring the textile value chain and market. The workshop started by discussing the textile industry's overall ecological footprint and social impact, touching upon areas such as the textile industry being the number two polluter of clean water in the world, in times when clean water is a scarcity. We also stressed the industry's over dependency on conventional cotton and polyester, and how we will need to think in a different way to be able to meet the global demand for textile fibres in the future. The workshop aimed to provide essential information for ensuring a socially and environmentally responsible supply chain, and tips and guidance on how to start sourcing more sustainably. We highlighted some of the industry’s most urgent issues and obstacles, and invited the audience, consisting of London based SME’s, to share their own experience, and concerns about the future of sustainability in textiles. The day provided the opportunity for young designers to get an overview of the current textiles landscape. Highlighting possibilities, strategies and tools for businesses to take the lead and change the way in which the textile industry operates. The workshop covered everything from certifications and tools through, evaluating and finding fabric suppliers to the latest textile innovations with a lower environmental impact. We rounded of the day by sharing some of our latest sustainable material innovations, those already available and some of which are currently in development in order to encourage future thinking when it comes to sustainable sourcing. As with all of our events there were a large selection of sustainable materials on show to illustrate the increasing range of commercially available materials on market today, as well as numerous innovations highlighted in the presentation. We are continuing to expand our collection of over 1,500 sustainable materials and you can discover a curated selection online and the full selection of fabrics with a lower environmental impact at the Future Fabrics Expo, London, 25-26th January 2017. REGISTER NOW! You can find out more about GLE workshops Here
At the Sustainable Angle we spend much of our time researching and sourcing innovative textiles and materials with a lower environmental footprint and reducing the fashion industry’s over-dependency on conventional cotton and polyester. These materials are showcased in the annual Future Fabrics Expo as well as in workshops and Pop ups throughout the year, and a curated selection on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com. This year we are delighted to have Orange Fiber’s innovations included in the 6th Future Fabrics Expo 25 - 26th January 2017.
In a time where fertile land is fast becoming a limited natural resource, innovative solutions are needed. The Italian Start-up Orange Fiber uses citrus waste, a by-product from the Italian juice industry to produce high quality textile fibres with a low environmental impact.
Sicily has a massive production of citrus juice, which every year also leaves around 700 tons of waste materials.
The two co-founders of Orange Fiber, Adriana Santanocito and Enrica Arena, saw the potential in this and developed a system where Orange Fiber converts orange peels, a by-product from the Sicilian juice industry, into high qualitative cellulose fibres. The Sustainable Angle asked Orange Fiber a few questions about their innovation and what they believe the future holds for the textile industry.
TSA: Can you provide a brief outline about what Orange Fiber is and how it has evolved since its inception?
OF: Orange Fiber is an Italian company that uses an innovative process to creates sustainable textiles for Fashion from citrus fruit by-products. Having created a supply chain network with partner companies we opened the first industrial plant in Sicily and produced different prototypes. The first textile production has been completed and some interesting top fashion brand proposals are being evaluated in view of entering the market by 2016.
TSA: What first inspired you to start to develop Orange Fiber?
OF: Orange Fiber’s idea is the result of a deep love for our homeland of Sicily, blended with the desire to innovate in a sustainable way; the Italian industry, known for its excellence in textile production.
The Orange Fiber supply chain from citrus by-product through spinning, weaving and finishing is our contribution towards sustainable fashion practice and economic, social and environmental development.
In 2011, Adriana Santanocito was studying Fashion Design and innovative materials at Afol Moda Institute of Milan, when she heard of the sustainable textiles trend, and decided to explore the subject in her thesis. By simply discussing this with citrus juice producers she discovered the problem behind the disposal of citrus waste and had the intuition to transform citrus juice by-products into a new product that would represent a brand new opportunity for Italian tradition in high quality fashion textiles. She shared the idea with Enrica Arena, and with creativity and will, they started Orange Fiber.
TSA: Can you tell us about any positive environmental / social impacts you have seen or expect to see as a result of Orange Fiber?
OF: Our innovative and patented process reduces the cost and the environmental impact of pollution related to the industrial waste of citrus juicing, by extracting a raw material apt for spinning. Our solution offers the opportunity to satisfy the increasing need of cellulose for textile, thus preserving natural resources. This process reuses waste products, saves land, water and environmental pollution.TSA: At the moment Orange Fiber is a very new and small-scale innovation. How do you expect it to be used by the industry in the future?
OF: We will complete the process of research and development, optimise the cost of production and start replicating the plant in Italy and abroad. Italy produces just 4% of the worlds citrus juice, so the opportunities to replicate the process are endless, and will allow us to lower the product price, becoming competitive with materials such as polyester and cotton. TSA: The fashion and textiles industries are some of the worst offenders out there for negative environmental and social impact. What do you think are the most pressing environmental and social challenges that we are facing in the industry?
OF: The most pressing environmental and social challenges that we are facing in the industry have to do with natural resources, protection and conservation along with the adoption of ethical business models. Considering the human cost of manufacturing clothing is as crucial as profit. In particular, fashion and textiles industries have to work to:
TSA: What do you think is the biggest obstacle to becoming a more sustainable and less harmful industry?
OF: We believe that the biggest obstacle for the fashion industry is the fast fashion and high volume consumerist approach we have come to see. This supply chain reduces R&D and sustainability efforts in order to keep low price points and give consumers more choice.
TSA: What are your plans moving forward?
OF: Since we strongly believe that “the future is not a place we’re going to, but a place we create”, we will continue to research and develop products and new raw materials, working on industrial scale-up and improving our process according to circular economy principles. Our aim is to establish Orange Fiber as the first Italian brand to move into the sustainable textiles industry, through “green” production from renewable sources and contribute to creating a greener fashion industry.
TSA: How can industry professionals and consumers get involved and engage with the work you are doing?
OF: We are creating a B2B2C product addressing the need of fashion brands to use a high quality sustainable and innovative textile for their collections and the need of the consumer to have access to high quality sustainable clothing. Establishing Orange Fiber as an Ingredient Brand, we aim to get involved and engage with industry professionals and consumers working on the added value of the fiber origin and its environmental and social sustainability.
At The Sustainable Angle we spend much of our time researching and sourcing both innovative and sustainable materials to showcase in the annual Future Fabrics Expo. We show a wide range of alternatives with a lower environmental and social impact to cotton, polyester and conventional leather. These materials are also shown in other events and workshops throughout the year, and on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com.
Atlantic Leather is an Icelandic tannery leading in manufacturing exotic leather from fish-skin which are waste products from the food industry. No fish used are endangered species. The fish-leather is produced from four different species of fish; Salmon, perch, wolffish and cod - each with its own unique characteristics - in a diverse range of colours, textures and finishes, all have been tested by the European Chemical Agency. Atlantic Leather is stationed in Sauðárkrókur, a small but vibrant community of roughly 4000 inhabitants, located in the heart of Skagafjörður, Iceland. The development of the fish leather has been processed since 1994, but the idea itself is rooted in tradition.
We have been lucky enough to interview Atlantic leather’s Manager Sigurlaug Vordís Eysteinsdóttir, to find out more about Atlantic Leather, and how fashion businesses and consumers cannot only use this material but visit where it is made.
TSA: Firstly, can you tell us what sustainability means to Atlantic Leather?
Atlantic Leather: Sustainability means the power of nature to us at Atlantic Leather. Respect nature and it’s power.
TSA: Can you provide a brief outline about the products Atlantic Leather creates, and what makes them more sustainable than other leathers?
Atlantic Leather: We produce Salmon, Perch, Cod and Wolffish leather from the by-product from the food industry. We also produce washable Salmon and Salmon tanned from the bark of the Mimosa tree. We turn waste products from the food industry into exotic luxury leather by using the power of nature. In Iceland we are fortunate to have plenty of hot water from geothermal sources, and our electricity comes from a hydroelectric power station. So we rely on the power of nature; exotic and eco-friendly.
TSA: What was the inspiration behind using fish skins to create leather for the fashion industry?
Atlantic Leather: Icelanders are known for reusing everything that others think is trash and we still have our ancestor’s spirit of finding the useful in everything. Iceland is a big fishing industry nation, our ancestors used the fish skins for their shoes, so the inspiration was, find a use for 100% of each fish Icelanders catch and Icelanders are on our way to completing that task, Atlantic Leather is a big part of that project.
TSA: Can you tell us about any positive environmental / social impacts you have seen or expect to see as a result of Atlantic Leather?
Atlantic Leather: Firstly, we don’t have any leather from endangered species, many designers have gone from snake skin to our Salmon skin for example. Atlantic Leather is the only tannery in Iceland and is based in the north of Iceland in a society with a population of 4000. Atlantic Leather was voted the best Tannery of the year in the European section that is a big recognition in our small country. Our leather is inspiring for people, we have so many colours and varieties of finish.
TSA: The fashion and textiles industries are some of the worst offenders out there for negative environmental and social impact. What do you think are the most pressing environmental and social challenges that we are facing in the industry?
Atlantic Leather: Money is the most challenging thing for tanneries. It costs a lot to be sustainable and because we are, then it makes our products expensive in the end. It is also important to stop playing hide and seek and start to open the tanneries up to customers so they can see it with their own eyes and be informed about sustainability. To be truly environmental you have to not be afraid to inform how you carry out the task, and when asked ethical questions, not being afraid of the answer.
TSA: What do you think is the biggest obstacle to becoming a more sustainable and less harmful industry?
Atlantic Leather: Again Money, For Atlantic Leather being stated in Iceland is our biggest obstacle but is also our biggest advantage
TSA: What are your plans moving forward?
Atlantic Leather: Just keeping up our 20-year process in our tanning product, keeping up our developments, and marketing our products more.
TSA: How can industry professionals and consumers get involved and engage with the work you are doing?
Atlantic Leather: Everybody is welcome to visit our tannery, they are able to order sample pack from us, we can ship all over the world, We are on social media, and visit our stand at The Future Fabric Expo☺We're greatly looking forwards to the 6th Future Fabrics Expo, which will take place on the 25th-26th January 2017, at the beautiful Iris Studios in London. Since it's inception in 2011, the Future Fabrics Expo has showcased innovative and traditional commercially viable 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. The 6th Future Fabrics Expo will again showcase a diverse range of around 1,500 individually sourced fabrics with a reduced environmental impact sourced from dozens of international mills and suppliers. Fabrics on show will be ideally suited for a wide range og market levels and product types, making this the largest and most diverse showcase of commercially available sustainable materials in the industry. Extensive background information on sustainability in fashion and textiles, and the latest textile and processing innovations will also be showcased. We invite you to come by to discover a diverse range of sustainable materials and resources, where we'll be on hand to talk to you about sustainable sourcing and materials. Even if you can’t make it to the expo you can still discover hundreds of sustainable materials from the Future Fabrics Expo by visiting www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com. In addition, the whole Future Fabrics Expo can be booked by brands and organisations, to be brought to their HQ or events – please contact us for information. Find out more about the last expo, and see photos and videos here. Get a sneak preview of our sustainable materials and resources here. Sign up to receive the lastest news and event details here. Visit our website www.thesustainableangle.org Next month we'll be running an interactive sustainable materials and sourcing workshop, aimed at London based designers and brands. You can find out more below and register for free by e-mailing email@example.com. You can find out more about GLE workshops by clicking here.
A few weeks ago The Sustainable Angle took part in the first "Threads: Rethinking Fashion" event hosted by Impact Hub Kings Cross and Ashoka Changemakers. The talks were designed as an exploratory series to support innovations for a fair and sustainable supply chain, covering a range of topics throughout the series.
Coinciding with London Fashion Week, the first in the series “From fibre to fabrics: Sustainable sourcing practices to procure raw materials” explored current sustainable practices, showcasing live case studies and Q&As. The featured speakers were TSA's researcher and project manager Charlotte Turner, and Christopher Stopes of Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).
The event gave industry professionals, students, and those simply interested in finding out more the opportunity to learn about and discuss challenging issues and positive solutions currently facing the fashion and textiles industries, as well as discover some of the beautiful sustainable materials currently available on the international market. It was great to see the audience ranging from professionals from high-end luxury fashion brands and start-ups, to fashion students and general consumers.
To follow up this event, one of those behind "Threads", the new sustainable fashion and lifestyle website The Lissome, interviewed Charlotte to find out more about sustainable fashion and materials, sustainable sourcing and how we assess sustainability, plus emerging brands and tips for living more sustainably.
You can read the interview in full here.
At The Sustainable Angle we spend much of our time researching and sourcing both innovative and humble sustainable materials, in the interests of reducing the fashion industry's over-dependency on cotton and polyester. These materials are showcased at the Future Fabrics Expo as well as other events and workshops throughout the year, and on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com.
Few of our discoveries have been as exciting as Piñatex by Ananas Anam, a non-woven material made from the fibre of pineapple leaves, ideal as a leather alternative for accessories including bags and footwear. We've had the pleasure of showcasing Piñatex on numerous occasions already since its launch in 2015, including at the 5th Future Fabrics Expo, INSPIRE ISPO Munich, and at our recent sustainable materials workshop hosted in conjunction with UKTI and UKFT.
We decided to interview Piñatex's creator, Carmen Hijosa, to find out more about Piñatex, and how fashion businesses and consumers can get their hands on this material.
TSA: Can you provide a brief outline about what Piñatex is and how it has evolved since its inception?
Ananas Anam: Piñatex is a natural and non-woven textile made from pineapple leaf fibres, which is the by-product of the pineapple harvest and as such Piñatex is made from an agricultural waste.
After significant research and development through a PhD at the Royal College of Art in London by Carmen Hijosa, Piñatex was launched in 2015. Today, Piñatex is developed through the company Ananas Anam, launched in 2014 by Carmen Hijosa. The company is part of the InnovationRCA department of the Royal College of Art.
Piñatex is sold only business to business, different products such as shoes, bags, accessories, clothes and furnishing products have been made from Piñatex.
TSA: It's an amazing material, what first inspired you to start develop it? Was it a desire to improve sustainability in the fashion / textiles industries or something else?
Ananas Anam: As a designer, my objective was to create a product that carried social and ecological responsibility throughout its Life Cycle, and through it, do something about how to sustain and indeed to heal planet earth through our actions, at the same time than helping the pineapple farming communities in the Philippines, where the pineapple fibres come from today.
Thanks to my research and the ethical views behind Piñatex, a new and sustainable material was created. Piñatex represents a sustainable solution in the face of today’s social and sustainable dilemmas.
TSA: Can you tell us about any positive environmental / social impacts you have seen or expect to see as a result of Piñatex?
Ananas Anam: Piñatex does not need any land, nor does it use any water, fertilizers or pesticides, as it is a waste from the pineapple harvest. This is quite unique in the textile world, especially when we consider that pineapple is the second most popular fruit in the world, and without having to plant any extra, we have an abundant source of raw material to manufacture Piñatex.
Following the Cradle to Cradle philosophy, Piñatex represents much more than a new material, it also involves a societal and civilizational change. Ananas Anam offers the opportunity to empower pineapple communities throughout the world by making them and to make them more self-reliant and sustainable, as the harvesting of the fibres gives them an added income, with extra potential to use the bio-mass left from the extraction of the fibres and convert it into organic fertilizer or bio-fuel.
TSA: At the moment Piñatex is a very new and small-scale innovation which has already generated interest from international brands. How do you expect it to scale up and be used by the industry in the future – do you think it could eventually be a mainstream commercially used material, and would you want it to be?
Ananas Anam: The supply chain of Piñatex is being developed with the aim to scale up and become a fully functioning industry. This is the way that everyone in the supply chain will benefit to ensure that Piñatex can become a democratic product, available not just to a few, but to everyone that cares for social and ecological issues. It is my intention to make Piñatex become a mainstream material indeed!
TSA: The fashion and textiles industries are some of the worst offenders out there for negative environmental and social impact. What do you think are the most pressing environmental and social challenges that we are facing in the industry?
Ananas Anam: Textiles need to minimize their negative impact in the environment. I think the most important challenge is about water, as the production of textiles requires an important quantity of water. Regarding the social challenges, there are still unfair working conditions behind the fashion brands, especially in the countries where the cheapest labour is.
TSA: What do you think is the biggest obstacle to becoming a more sustainable and less harmful industry?
Ananas Anam: My research led me to the conclusion that the success of synthetics like acrylic, nylon, polyester and polypropylene is due mainly to cost.
Within a fast-evolving fashion industry which is more and more driven by the success of fast fashion brands, the production keeps accelerating and puts priority on quantity rather than quality. However, trend analysis tends to show a change in customers’ mindset. Indeed, people pay more and more attention to who, how, where and when the clothes we wear are made.
TSA: Can you tell us about your plans moving forward?
Ananas Anam: Our objective for 2016 is to consolidate our company and strengthen our team. Once our production is fully consolidated, we intend to reach to a wider customer base, while at the same time continuing the on going Piñatex R&D, to include more textures, surface finishes, and colours to our present range.
TSA: Finally, how can industry professionals and consumers get involved and engage with the work you are doing?
Ananas Anam: Professionals can engage with Ananas Anam by creating products made of Piñatex. Consumers can get involved by following the evolution of Ananas Anam on the social media. Finally, everyone can share our message on sustainability and our social values.
Last week we coordinated and hosted another sustainable materials sourcing workshop 'Essential Supply Chain Alternatives for a Responsible Business', for the first time in collaboration with UKTI (UK Trade & Investment), with a stunning venue generously provided by UKFT (UK Fashion & Textiles Association). We were delighted to welcome delegates from many of the UKs leading medium and large size brands, from departments including design, development, sourcing and sustainability.
The day provided the opportunity to get an overview of the current textiles landscape, highlighting the pressing need for businesses to explore and lead on more sustainable business practices and sourcing strategies.
Updates about COP21, The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and other organisations, initiatives and solutions reinforced the fact that change must begin now, starting by assessing the impact current business practices are having on the environment and communities, and identifying the potential financial benefits that can be achieved through identifying, assessing, and removing / improving waste streams and polluting processes among countless other impacts in the supply chain.
We rounded off the day by sharing some of the latest sustainable materials innovations, both already available and in development for future purchasing, to encourage future thinking when it comes to sustainable sourcing. The key idea we wish brands to consider is that introducing more sustainable materials and processes in to the supply chain doesn't have to mean that current supply chains must be abandoned and completely rebuilt, rather that new companies and innovations can be introduced in to existing supply chains, or that existing suppliers and brands can work together to improve working practices, introduce the use of new fibres and processes, or develop entirely new sustainable materials.
As with all of our events, there were also information boards and hundreds of sustainable materials on show, to illustrate the increasing range of commercially available materials on the market today - as well as numerous emerging innovations that we highlighted in our presentation. We are continuing to expand our collection of over 1,500 sustainable materials, and look forward at showcasing them at future events (find out about our most recent materials showcases at ISPO Munich and the 5th Future Fabrics Expo).
We are planning to run more workshops in the coming months which will be targeted to allow professionals from different areas of the industry and businesses to get the most beneficial experience. You can register interest in attending future workshops by emailing charlotte [at] thesustainableangle.org - please provide a bit of information about yourself and your company, and what you would be interested to find out or do at future workshops and events.
After a successful 5th edition of the Future Fabrics Expo in London in September 2015, The Sustainable Angle have been invited to showcase a range of forward-thinking sustainable materials for sportswear and lifestyle clothing at INSPIRE, a sustainability and innovation showcase within ISPO Munich in January 2016, organised by GreenroomVoice and Brands for Good. Future Fabrics Expo companies featured will include Elmer & Zweifel, Hans Global / Creative Tech, Ananas Anam, New Natural Textiles (Selvancolour™), and Ecological Textiles.
INSPIRE has grown over the years with more and more companies participating, and for the next edition 2016, GRV is teaming up with AIR (Agence Innovation Responsable) to concentrate on the subject of Circular Economy.
During ISPO 2016 and beyond, the idea is to gather the sports and outdoor community to inspire and represent the best sustainability achievements in the industry.
INSPIRE will feature products, brands and suppliers who have found an innovative and forward-looking way of dealing successfully with challenges. INSPIRE will gather brands, suppliers, recyclers, manufacturers, standards and labels in an interdisciplinary approach. It further aims to attract those who are looking for answers, services and innovations.
The concept of INSPIRE is structured around the subjects of RAW MATERIALS (material level) where the Future Fabrics Expo showcase by The Sustainable Angle will be located, INNOVATIVE “Circular” DESIGN (concepts and guidelines for a circular approach), USE & CARE (opportunities for new business models), END OF USE (concepts, infrastructure, etc).
“We see this as a very positive development, that increasing numbers of outdoor brands are living up to their responsibility and taking a leading role in implementing best practice in this area.” - Pamela Ravasio, CSR & Sustainability Manager, EOG
Presentations and workshops will be part of the concept. News about the program will follow shortly.
Register to visit ISPO Munich here.
Last week we were delighted to welcome hundreds of visitors over two days to the 5th edition of the Future Fabrics Expo, inside Fashion SVP at London Olympia exhibition centre. The 5th Future Fabrics Expo presented a curated showcase of globally sourced materials with reduced environmental impacts, featuring approximately 1500 qualities from over 80 mills, with sustainability information displayed for each mill and fabric.
We additionally presented a seminar on how to source more sustainably, exploring our top tips and strategies for sustainable sourcing, key innovations we have discovered, and how different ways of measuring impacts can help you build a more sustainable supply chain.
The 5th Future Fabrics Expo enabled visitors to join the dots of their supply chain, reinforced by key research and resources for sustainable textiles and fashion, including the Higg Index by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). SAC is the apparel, footwear and home textile industry’s foremost alliance for sustainability across the entire supply chain. SAC has developed the Higg Index, a standardized supply chain measurement tool for all levels of industry. The expo also featured String3 by Historic Futures, a powerful new digital alternative to manual supply chain intelligence gathering processes, which supports the traceability of raw materials, as well as an exhibition of designs from The EcoChic Design Award, which is organised by Redress.
A key focus for the 5th Future Fabrics Expo was to showcase leading innovations from around the world, summarised by highlighting our ‘Top 5’ innovations including leather alternatives made from waste pineapple leaf fibre, South American giant mushrooms, and natural rubber from the Amazon rainforest, along with biodegradable resin buttons, and organically tanned by-product exotic fish skin and ostrich leather.
Other exciting materials and processes showcased included:
Two of our sponsors, Kassim Textiles and Elmer & Zweifel respectively showcased the highest quality reduced impact denims made with diverse fibres including linen and Tencel®, and responsibly made organic cotton in a range of knitted and woven qualities.
For the first time we also welcomed the Taiwan Textile Federation to join the expo to showcase leading Taiwan Eco Textiles focusing on performance and technical textiles. Hundreds of innovative materials were showcased from the Taiwanese mills Everest, Minlan, Tai Yuen, Merryson, Lily Textile and Grandtek, suited to a wide range of applications from active wear to fashion. The interest generated by these mills was indicative of the quality of the materials on offer, and Taiwan’s increasing success at developing high quality materials with a reduced environmental impact.
We have come away from our 5th Future Fabrics Expo feeling energised by the increasing commitment from brands to consider more deeply their material and manufacturing choices, and from mills to work collaboratively with the industry to help reduce impact across the supply chain. The Future Fabrics Expo provides not only a dedicated hub for sustainable sourcing, but also a dynamic networking forum – a place for sharing best practice for the benefit of all. There is still a long way to go, and we look forward to working with more brands to help embed sustainability throughout business activity.
Even if you didn’t make it to the expo you can still discover hundreds of sustainable materials from the Future Fabrics Expo by visiting www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com. In addition, the whole Future Fabrics Expo can be booked by brands and organisations, to be brought to their HQ or events – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
The 5th Future Fabrics Expo took place on 29th - 30th September 2015 inside Fashion SVP at London Olympia exhibition centre.
Photography by Zephie Begolo.
written by Charlotte Turner
We have had the pleasure of showcasing the forward-thinking Pakistan based mill Kassim Denim for several years now, and are delighted to welcome them back once again as sponsors of the 5th Future Fabrics Expo, taking place on the 29th-30th September 2015 at London Olympia Exhibition Centre, as part of Fashion SVP.
Kassim Denim have worked with some of the world's best known fashion brands to create top quality materials, and are constantly working on innovations to reduce the negative impact of the textiles industry, and in particular denim production, which has been known to have large-scale impact on water contamination and supply.
We wanted to let Kassim share their thoughts on sustainability in the textiles industry, what they are doing to help improve it, and why it's so important to them.
Read the full conversation below, and discover a range of Kassim Denim sustainable fabrics at www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com.
TSA: Kassim Textiles have been supporters of the Future Fabrics Expo for many years, also generously sponsoring the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo, our online showcase of sustainable materials, since its inception. Can you tell us why you think it’s important for Kassim to work with organizations like ours, and projects like the Future Fabrics Expo and Future Fabrics Virtual Expo?
Kassim: Organizations like The Sustainable Angle with initiatives such as the Future Fabrics Expo are truly the organizations needed to help people move towards a greener world, and Kassim sincerely believes in making a green and pollution free world for generations to come.
TSA: The Future Fabrics Expo is based in London, and you also exhibit at trade fairs elsewhere in Europe and Asia. Have you noticed a significant difference in these markets when it comes to knowledge of sustainability and demand for sustainable materials, and (how) does this influence Kassim’s development of more sustainable materials?
Kassim: Generally most people are becoming more and more aware of sustainability, regardless of which region they are in. This helps us to maintain our research on the matter and seek developments to augment the supply of these buyers’ needs for sustainable denim fabrics.
TSA: Kassim Denim produces a huge amount of denim for the global market. Can you tell us about the types of materials you produce that have a reduced environmental impact, and are there any sustainable fibres of processes you are working with that you think could be good alternatives to standard cotton denim?
Kassim: “Sustainable, environmentally responsible, green management” are the key factors to Kassim Denim’s endeavors to produce the best denim fabrics possible, whilst maintaining the true essentials of being environmentally friendly, to match up with the drive of consumers to buy sustainable products.
Each of these three perspectives are integral parts of our commitment for integration of an environmental and social lens into core operational and financial management — from material sourcing through product design, manufacturing, distribution, delivery and end-of-life management.
And on this we seek out the best possible alternatives, for example the use of recycled PET yarns or Tencel® to achieve a similar cotton hand feel.
TSA: How do you think we can increase the use of sustainable materials in the fashion industry?
Kassim: To do this we need to create sustainable materials that are both high quality and fashionable. So these will be made using sustainable fibers/yarns, eco-friendly processes, and less harmful chemicals, but will really appeal to customers through looking good and performing well.
TSA: Last year, Kassim Denim were sponsors of a student project on the MA Fashion and the Environment course at the London College of Fashion. Why do you feel it’s important for you and other textiles mills to engage with students, and do you think we could create more positive change by getting fashion students involved in the textiles industry earlier?
Kassim: Upcoming and young designers are those who will soon bring the world the true essence of a sustainable fashionable culture. So we believe we all need to support these rising designers in their efforts, as they will shape the industry of the future.
TSA: You have said before that textiles manufacturers need to cater to the demands of consumers – is there anything you think we should be doing to help increase consumers' demand for more sustainable materials?
Kassim: The best recourse in this matter is that organizations like yours keep communicating about these new innovations, and launch awareness campaigns to help educate the end user about the facts and pros of sustainability.Kassim Denim fabrics can be seen at the 5th Future Fabrics Expo on 29th – 30th September, London, and all year round on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com. They can also be visited twice a year at several global trade fairs: Texworld, Munich Fabric Start, Premier Vision China, Premier Vision Istanbul, and Bangladesh Show (Dhaka). Kassim Denim are generous sponsors of the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo, and the Future Fabrics Expo. Along with researching and showcasing materials and innovations with a reduced environmental impact, we have long been interested in steps being taken in academic and industrial research, which are encouraging the fashion and textiles industries to move towards more sustainable, progressive, and thoughtful practices. This has led us to showcase a range of PhD research and funded projects at our annual Future Fabrics Expos, as well as emerging project platforms and tools. One project that stands out for its interactive and technical nature is PhD research by Royal College of Art student Bruna Petreca. Bruna has been exploring the nature of tactile fabric selection, participating in the past two Future Fabrics Expos to enable visitors to interact with the research. The research looks at ways we can combine traditional textiles sourcing with technology, which has the benefit of ‘physically’ interacting with materials with differing levels of sustainability, sourced from around the world, in the same ‘tactile’ digital space. This could have fantastic implications for resources like the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo, our online sustainable textiles sourcing resource. Bruna shares more on the project here. Written by Bruna Petreca: Feeling textiles: investigations towards more sensible and sensitive selection Sourcing textiles is both an inspiring and a crucial task in the design process and we as designers need to be imaginative as well as fulfil technical and socio-environmental requirements. The Future Fabrics Expo (FFE) provides invaluable support to the fashion industry, which is highlighted by their unique work in selecting and curating sustainable textiles, and by establishing a platform that facilitates dialogue between researchers and the textiles industry. I have been fortunate to be able to immerse myself in such an environment for the past two years, by conducting live studies within the Expo to investigate the needs and opportunities for supporting sourcing activities from a sensory experience perspective – for designers, suppliers, and hopefully for the FFE. While preparing this post I have been participating in puzzling debates. On the one hand, visionary trend consultant Li Edelkoort asserts that “fashion designers [are] being trained who are not familiar with fabric, who do not know how textiles work or how fibers react.” (Anti-Fashion Manifesto – Paris, February 2015.) On the other hand, all the moving initiatives around Fashion Revolution Day are intriguing. As I stay with this thought about fashion designers’ knowledge regarding textiles, questions remain about how we are currently addressing this issue, and how we can address it in a future that demands creators who understand the impacts of their materials and production choices. Through this post, I wish to contribute to this discussion by sharing my story of working with FFE in supporting fashion designers in sourcing textiles. I have been investigating people’s sensory experiences with textiles since 2009 when I began collaborating with the project Digital Sensoria. One of the goals of this feasibility study was to create digital tools that enable people to understand the multisensory properties of textiles through rich-media interfaces (more information at  and ). Supporting people in communicating their sensory perceptions is challenging, particularly for designers, as their expert perceptions require specialist tools. This led me to focus on designers’ sourcing activities, and, considering technological developments, this issue becomes even more critical; besides being exposed to not always inspiring training in textiles, as suggested in the quote above, designers are increasingly working with digital tools, and occasionally risk losing material references in digital interactions for sourcing and designing. Recently, I have been experimenting with tools to address some of these emerging issues. The collaboration with FFE arose from our shared interest in quality, performance, sustainability, and experience in textiles sourcing. The first published outcome from this encounter is a study conducted as part of FFE13 that investigated designers’ needs in textile sourcing. “The Future Of Textiles Sourcing: Exploring The Potential For Digital Tools” was presented at the 9th International Conference on Design and Emotion 2014: The Colors of Care. October 2014, Bogotá - Colombia. (pp. 366-377). We also explored if sourcing activities could be somehow enhanced through the support of digital tools. “(…) we considered that the visiting experts would be open to the idea of digital tools that could offer new more sustainable alternatives to the current market models for sourcing textiles. We wanted to understand experts’ perceptions of their current practice and how open they are to change to more sustainable conduct, provided that technology offers alternatives to gather the information they need about materials.” (Petreca et al. 2014) The study reveals designers’ use of sensory information and experience in support of sourcing activities, besides highlighting requirements for designing future tools, which should provide a better experience while informing designers about materials and their behaviour and impacts. These also point to the need to enhance current technology if willing to communicate the sensory properties of textiles remotely, which should be desirable once the study shows that feeling samples is crucial. Hence, only if technology is further developed will the industry be able to experiment with changes on sampling processes towards reducing waste. As this was a small study, ultimately we were not able to verify if further support to sourcing activities digitally might reduce traveling to fairs, as designers value the social dynamics of textile fairs. Further discussions with the research community when this paper was presented at the Design and Emotion conference showed interest in seeing a better use of sensory understanding within the digital context, for example, to enable a better communication globally in support of the dissemination of knowledge about traditional textiles, which are difficult to transmit through the tools currently available. Our learning from engaging with the FFE reveals diverse opportunities: through our design practice, in creating interactive videos using sustainable fabrics provided by the FFE, we learned that one can experience standard and sustainable materials comparatively using interactive videos, which highlighted that when representing the characteristics of the materials our concerns are fundamentally the same. Reflecting on designer practice and training from this textile knowledge-sharing perspective reveals several issues and opportunities for change. As a researcher, I will keep working towards new understandings about our sensory experiences with textiles to hopefully support training and sourcing activities. From the trade fairs perspective, Future Fabrics Expo is a good example of how pushing the boundaries persistently can have great impact, besides nourishing and inspiring the industry. From a stakeholders’ perspective - as a designer, a trend-forecaster, a journalist, a tutor, a buyer, a manager, etc., how do you participate in this conversation? And what should our next question be? Let’s talk about it, but most certainly let’s keep doing it.
 This was proposed earlier by Charles Goodwin (1994) in relation to discursive practices within specialist communities. He shows how certain groups of practice develop tools and are expected to “see and categorize the world in the ways that are relevant to the work, tools, and artifacts that constitute their profession”. In: Goodwin, Charles (1994). "Professional Vision." American Anthropologist 96(3): 606-633.
We are delighted to announce a new official partnership between ourselves, The Sustainable Angle, and Avery Dennison Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS), a global leader in apparel branding, labeling, packaging, embellishments, and RFID solutions. This partnership is intended to provide leading apparel brands with innovative sustainable solutions, and will combine the unique capabilities and expertise of each company to drive the future use of new sustainable materials in apparel branding.
We will be researching and curating innovative fabrics with a reduced environmental footprint, which will be showcased in RBIS’ Customer Design & Innovation Centers (CDIC) in Los Angeles, USA and Sprockhovel Germany, in a similar format to our annual Future Fabrics Expo.
Static exhibitions in the CDIC will initially feature alternatives to standard leather and performance fabrics, together with accompanying information regarding their sustainability and innovation credentials. Through this collaboration, The Sustainable Angle and RBIS will provide leading brands and retailers with valuable insight into future fabrics and sustainable branding alternatives.
“With sustainability deeply rooted in the fabric of our culture, we couldn’t be more excited to collaborate with The Sustainable Angle to further our vision to provide intelligent, creative, and sustainable solutions,” said Helen Sahi, Director, Sustainability, Avery Dennison. “By giving our customers access to a unique range of sustainable materials, we’re helping to elevate their brands and reduce their environmental footprint.”
"The Sustainable Angle is delighted to announce the partnership with Avery Dennison RBIS, a company that continuously aims to improve the sustainability of their products and processes.” said Nina Marenzi, Director of The Sustainable Angle. “We are excited to contribute innovative textiles with a lower environmental impact to put together an inspiring, thought-provoking and informative display."
In addition, Avery Dennison RBIS will utilize their design expertise, extensive sustainable materials portfolio and lean manufacturing footprint to create and produce the merchandising and communication mechanism for all of the fabrics in our portfolio. Both the compressed Kraft and Post Consumer Waste (PCW) mix ‘Hanger’ and paperboard ‘Header’ card have been designed to optimise manufacturing efficiency and reduce waste. The ‘Header’ card is printed digitally, using conscious and informative branding to complement our products and further reinforce our sustainable partnership.
About The Sustainable Angle
The Sustainable Angle is an award winning not for profit organization which initiates and supports projects which contribute to minimizing the environmental impact of industry and society. Their biggest project to date, the F uture Fabrics Expo, focuses on the fashion industry and how its environmental impact can be lowered through innovation in the textile industry, and novel ideas to transform the fashion system and design practice. The Future Fabrics Expo has taken place every year since 2011 showcasing hundreds of different types of fabrics and materials for fashion with a reduced environmental impact, which are of highest quality and innovation. These materials are globally sourced from more than 50 mills around the world. Learn more at www.thesustainableangle.org.
About Avery Dennison RBIS
Avery Dennison RBIS, a global leader in apparel and footwear industry solutions, is a $1.6 billion division of Avery Dennison (NYSE: AVY). Avery Dennison RBIS provides intelligent creative and sustainable solutions that elevate brands and accelerate performance throughout the global retail supply chain. We elevate brands through graphic tickets, tags and labels, embellishments and packaging solutions that enhance consumer appeal. We accelerate performance through RFID enabled inventory and loss prevention solutions, price management, global compliance, and brand security solutions. Based in Westborough, Massachusetts, Avery Dennison RBIS responsibly serves the global marketplace with operations in 115 locations, 50 countries, across 6 continents. For more information, visit www.rbis.averydennison.com and follow RBIS on Twitter and Instagram @AvyDenRBIS.
About Avery Dennison
Avery Dennison (NYSE:AVY) is a global leader in labeling and packaging materials and solutions. The company’s applications and technologies are an integral part of products used in every major market and industry. With operations in more than 50 countries and more than 25,000 employees worldwide, Avery Dennison serves customers with insights and innovations that help make brands more inspiring and the world more intelligent. Headquartered in Glendale, California, the company reported sales from continuing operations of $6.3 billion in 2014. Learn more at www.averydennison.com.