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.
The Sustainable Angle is delighted to announce that the 8th Future Fabrics Expo will present its largest ever dedicated sustainable materials showcase at a new venue, Victoria House, Central London (Holborn WC1) in January 2019.
Following the success of the 7th Future Fabrics Expo in January 2018, and in response to demand from both our partner mills and industry visitors, the 2019 8th edition of the Future Fabrics Expo has increased in scale, ambition and vision.
Our aim is to provide the fashion industry with a one stop shop for accessing a broad range of material solutions, and the strategic tools needed to respond to the critical imperative to change current practices presented by the wasteful and polluting impacts of the fashion and textile industries. Since our inception in 2011, the Expo has facilitated and supported sustainable sourcing practices, enabling fashion brands to begin diversifying their fabrics and materials and lowering environmental impacts.
These materials are global qualities, which showcases and enables informed sourcing. We situate this resource in the current sustainability context, providing educational background information and research, aiming to demystify the complexities of sustainable practice. The best practice traditional natural fibres, regenerated cellulosics, naturals and synthetics bio source, and closed loop materials.
Enhancing our curated selection of globally sourced textiles and materials will be ten specially selected best practice mills and suppliers, presenting their materials in their own dedicated space. For the first time we will also showcase several manufacturers and globally recognized certifiers. A new space presenting fashion brands working with materials sourced via the Future Fabrics Expo provides a view of best practice, from materials sourcing through to product realisation.
We will also again be presenting an exciting expanded Innovation Hub, showcasing both emerging and commercially available innovations, featuring a collaboration with Fashion for Good organisation. The Innovation Hub acknowledges the recent surge in research and design that has led to the plethora of materials innovations we are now seeing surface in response to material scarcity, increasing waste streams, the need for transparent and traceable supply chains, and those addressing the cellulose gap for example .
We have coordinated again an inspirational seminar programme, featuring key thought leaders, panel discussions and presentations from innovators, industry insiders, textile producers and designers.
Nearest tube station: Holborn station, Central line. Address: Bloomsbury Square, London WC1B 4DA
Please contact us if you require further information at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about The 7th Future Fabrics Expo:
To find out more about recent events where the Future Fabrics Expo was showcased such as Copenhagen Fashion Summit, The London Textile Fair and London Fashion Week, please see below:
Copenhagen Fashion Summit:
The London Textile Fair:
London Fashion Week:
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The Sustainable Angle travelled to Copenhagen showing a selection of fashion materials from the Future Fabrics Expo in the Solutions Lab of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit. At the summit many cited Orange Fibre, which was showcased on our stand, as a great innovation. We also displayed many Cradle to Cradle certified materials which tied in nicely with the keynote speech of the Cradle to Cradle founder William McDonough.
It was an impressive line up of speakers, thought leaders, pioneers and visionaries from the fashion industry and beyond, presenting their ideas and insights as to how to reduce the fashion industry’s heavy environmental footprint and making it a more responsible and fairer industry by embracing a circular approach.
Most speeches from the summit’s livestream is now on youtube:
There was great interest in seeing the materials at our Future Fabrics Expo pop up at the summit. It felt right to have the actual materials on display of which so much was talked about during the summit. It is one thing to talk on stage about ideas and new paradigms, but another to actually design and make products that are responsibly produced and processed and with raw materials that are no longer polluting. See them listed further below and the video as well as their materials on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com
A significant outcome of the 2017 Copenhagen Fashion Summit was the launch of the Call to Action for a Circular Fashion System, which was signed by some of the world’s leading and biggest companies. Signatories of the Call to Action commit to defining a circular strategy, to setting targets for 2020 and to reporting on the progress of implementing the commitment.
Of great interest is the report written by the Global Fashion Agenda, organizer of the summit, together with The Boston Consulting group: Pulse of the fashion industry which sets out ‘a vision of a better fashion industry’.
In summary, what needs to happen next is investing in designs and strategies to extend the life span of clothing, minimize the environmental footprint of production at the design stage by taking into account the end of life of a product at the outset, (eg for it not to end in landfill but rather become the material for the next product without losing value). Investment needs to go into innovations for materials that are clean, renewable, non-toxic, not to the detriment of human’s health nor the planet’s. Quite simply, in the words of Ellen MacArthur, we need to move away from the linear system based on using finite resources creating waste and therefore losing value. What is needed is a system change, to move away from a linear system to a circular system that is restorative and regenerative.
Ananas Anam, innovators of Piñatex™ , is a natural, innovative and patent pending new material, made from pineapple leaf fibres as a by-product of the pineapple harvest. No extra land, water, fertiliser or pesticides are required
Avery Dennison works with brands and retailers worldwide to design and innovate sustainable branding and technology solutions for the apparel and footwear market.
Beyond Surface Technologies AG is a Swiss company creating green chemistry for the finishing process of textiles achieving lower potential hazards and a smaller carbon footprint overall.
Cradle to Cradle Innovation institute, uses the Cradle to Cradle framework to foster a new generation of sustainable products including fabrics, trims and elastics
Doppelhaus produces sustainable non-woven wool fabrics with a lower environmental impact utilising innovative felting technology and 100% British wool saving water and energy, reducing waste and costs.
Nova Kaeru is an exotic bio leathers pioneer in organic tanning and seamless panelling technology for fish, ostrich leg and caiman fish leathers from food waste mainly in Brazil incorporating sustainability, technology and innovation at its core.
Orange fibre is the Italian innovator who developed the patented process to create sustainable textiles from citrus juice by-products otherwise a discarded resource.
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 email@example.com 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.
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.
written by Charlotte Turner
Last week we joined a diverse group of thought leaders and provokers, designers, innovators, and communicators at the Sustainable Brands Conference 2014 in London. During the 3 day conference we attended a range of workshops, presentations and plenaries with experts and leaders from a mix of global industries, to explore and discuss effective and proven ways to embed sustainability in the core of your company. Central themes included the key to effective communication, and how to connect with people, not consumers – an essential in today’s globalised and consumption driven culture. In addition, a range of technological and natural innovations were uncovered, leading the way to progress across industry borders.
The reason we found ourselves at the hub of this exchanging of ideas was to showcase a pop up Future Fabrics Expo, showing several hundred fabrics with a reduced environmental impact from our extensive sustainable materials collection, along with a selection of our research and our online sustainable sourcing tool the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo.
Whilst not an audience made up of fashion professionals, it was energising to connect with people from different industries – many of whom were actually far more connected to textiles than they initially thought. We were delighted to find that strategies, thought principles, and specialist innovations really can cross borders between industries, not least because textiles and fashion affect everyone – from those of us who wear clothes (almost all of us) to those who create them (the fashion and textiles industry employs millions of people globally, and is forecast to generate $3,179.7 billion in 2015). With the fashion industry being one of the largest in the world, it’s no wonder it has the power to connect us so effectively.
The presentations will soon be available online, but in the meantime here are a couple of our favourites:
A New Product Design Paradigm: Radical Integration of Material Sustainability, Job Creation and Customer Service (Ali Khalifa)
Aly Khalfia is an inspiring system thinker, Founder of Lyf Shoes, and Director of Design & Engineering at McDonough Innovation. Aly is redesigning the way shoes are made, sold, used, and valued through disrupting traditional industry practice. He has designed a system that both closes the loop on materials, and engages with customers in new ways, through enabling them to 3D print a pair of personalized shoes in store in as little as 90 seconds. You can watch the presentation by clicking the image above.
Intersecting Sustainability and Marketing: Driving Positive Impact, Market Share and Brand Acuity at the Same Time (Heineken)
Whilst not strictly related to the fashion or textiles industries, this was a great presentation as it addressed an issue we have often found when we talk to brands – that there is a difference in behavior, communication, and thought process between the Sustainability teams and Marketing teams (and in the case of fashion, also in the Buying teams). This talk addressed how to alleviate the issues this can cause, and it was especially interesting to learn about their ‘Dance more, Drink Less’ campaign, which could teach the fashion industry about responsible communications, enriched experiences for customers, and accepting that encouraging consumers to buy less can actually be a good thing. You can watch the presentation by clicking the image above.
There were even more engaging presentations and impressive solutions shared at the conference, which we hope you’ll enjoy discovering online.
Join our sustainable textiles workshop
If you’d like to find out more sustainable developments and innovations in relation to sustainable fashion and textiles specifically, we’ll be holding a sustainable textiles workshop in West London on 26th November – please contact us if you would like to find out more and to book a place at our corporate or small business rates. Places are limited so get in touch soon!
written by Charlotte Turner
We’re delighted to announce we will be at the Sustainable Brands Conference in London, from 3rd – 5th November 2014.
We’ll have a stand at the Sustainable Brands Activation Hub, where you can visit us between seminars to discover a range of reduced impact materials from the Future Fabrics Expo, discuss sustainable materials and value chains, and find out about our projects, tools, and events aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of the fashion value chain.
We’re also pleased to be able to offer a discount for our friends, clients, and wider network:
20% off when you register here with the code nwsustangleb14l
You can join nearly 500 of your peers at The Lancaster London Hotel to learn from over 60 change agents in more than 30 workshops, plenaries and breakout discussions.
Sustainable Brands® is the premier global community of brand innovators who are shaping the future of commerce worldwide with focused attention on understanding and leveraging the role of brands in shaping that future.
This year marks the 3rd year the community is gathering in London. Dedicated business leaders from companies such as Unilever, Marks & Spencer, BASF, Heineken and others are planning to participate as well as thought leaders from Guardian Sustainable Business, Forum for the Future, SustainAbility and more. There is a conscious effort to bring unexpected participants together – large multinational corporations, start-ups, NGOs, academia, investors and government agencies – each bringing a unique perspective but shared passion for shifting the world to a sustainable economy.
written by Charlotte Turner
For those who couldn’t make it (and those who could), we wanted to share news about the 4th Future Fabrics Expo, which was just successfully hosted for the second time inside Fashion SVP at London Olympia. We were visited by hundreds of fashion and textiles professionals, as well as students who will soon be bringing this sustainable sourcing knowledge to jobs throughout the industry.
If you missed the expo, you can still visit www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com all year round to discover a wide range of the fabrics on display at the expo, plus tools and resources to help on the journey to reducing the environmental impact of your supply chain. You can also get in touch to discuss tailored hands on workshops and presentations for your company or event.
This was a record year for the Future Fabrics Expo, which received over a thousand registrations from leading high street, luxury and start up brands, as well as educational, government, and NGO organisations, showing that there is most certainly a growing desire to understand and learn about what our clothes are made of.
The Future Fabrics Expo was shown to be a key platform for showcasing both sustainable textiles, and initiatives and tools from a range of organisations such as WRAP’s Knowledge Hub, String3 by Historic Futures, and ground-breaking research projects from the Royal College of Art and London College of Fashion.
A key focus for the 4th Future Fabrics Expo was on supply chain traceability, showcasing mapping and connecting tools from Historic Futures, and the FireUP project from UAL. In addition, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) was showcased, resulting in a broad showcase of projects and tools addressing all areas of the textile and fashion value chain. Examples of CmiA fabrics from some of their dozens of member producers were on show – you can find a full list of CmiA producers via their website.
We additionally presented a seminar on ‘building sustainabiltiy into your textile buying’, exploring how to assess fabrics in relation to sustainability, avoiding pitfalls when sourcing sustainably, and developments of the sustainable textiles market.
This year the expo was generously sponsored by Kassim Denim and Elmer & Zweifel, also sponsors of the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo (www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com), our online sustainable fabrics sourcing tool available throughout the year.
If you are looking to source sustainable fabrics in low quantities, we will soon launch a fabrics sourcing pool hosted on www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com, to allow smaller companies and emerging designers to purchase fabrics with a reduced environmental impact at manageable quantities. The launch will be announced via our periodic newsletter in the coming weeks so sign up now to make sure you don’t miss out – we’ll also be sharing information about the latest fabrics to be added to the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo.
written by Charlotte Turner
We’re delighted to announce that we will once again be presenting a seminar during the 4th Future Fabrics Expo at Fashion SVP, London, on 28th – 30th September, as part of Fashion SVP’s ‘Sourcing Briefing’ seminar series.
The seminar will take place on Tuesday 30th September at 10.30am near the Future Fabrics Expo (Stand SF1 at Fashion SVP, Olympia Central Exhibition Centre) – to attend simply register for a free event pass here.
Last year our seminar exploring the future of sustainable fashion fabrics was one of the most highly visited sessions during the two-day programme, and the impressive line up this year will also be well worth a visit.
This year, Amanda Johnston, curator and consultant at The Sustainable Angle, will be delivering a seminar looking at how to build sustainability into your textile buying.
The session will cover topics including:
As well as attending the seminar, you will be able to visit the Future Fabrics Expo stand (SF1) to discover hundreds of individually sourced sustainable textiles from dozens of mills around the world, along with extensive background research on sustainability, and some of the latest resources and tools related to sustainability in fashion and textiles.
To attend the Future Fabrics Expo and seminar simply register for a free event pass here.
About Amanda Johnston:
Amanda is curator and consultant at The Sustainable Angle, having curated the sustainable textiles collection and Future Fabrics Expo since its inception. She has a background in design consultancy and education, and has co-authored two books: Fabric For Fashion, and Fabric For Fashion The Swatch Book (both published 2010; 2nd edition 2014). Amanda teaches at the London College of Fashion, and regularly runs sustainable materials workshops, delivering presentations and seminars internationally, both at industry events and in educational forums.
written by Charlotte Turner
Kassim Denim is a pioneering vertically integrated denim mill from Pakistan, and long time supporter of the Future Fabrics Expo and The Sustainable Angle. Kassim Denim develop, innovate, and produce an extensive range of denims, many made with organic cotton and cellulosic fibres, finished using low impact processes.
Kassim Denim have worked with some of the world’s leading denim brands, so we has a conversation with Sohail Ahmed, Kassim Denim’s market developer, to find out the latest news on what the company is doing to reduce it’s environmental impact, and instead create positive change for the company and the environment that hosts it.
Read the full conversation below, and discover a range of Kassim Denim sustainable fabrics at www.futurefabricsvirtualexpo.com.
TSA: Can you tell us what your role is, and how you are involved in improving sustainability within your company, and in the textiles industry?
KD: As a market developer it’s my task to keep our administration updated on matters of sustainability, whether it be sustainable processing, or sustainable raw materials like yarns, dyes and chemicals.
TSA: What first inspired Kassim Denim to start working on improving sustainability in the textiles industry?
KD: Our motivation… “Sustainable, environmentally responsible, green management” are the key factors to Kassim Denim’s endeavors to produce the best denim fabrics while maintaining the true essentials of being eco-friendly, to match up with the drive to consumer product sustainability.
Each of these three perspectives is an integral part 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.
We travail to implement sustainability-focused initiatives along our entire supply chain, both upstream and downstream.
TSA: Can you tell us a bit about what Kassim Denim is doing to be more sustainable?
KD: We keep a stringent vigilance to environmental, health and safety-driven issues, and always take immediate initiative on new regulations like restricting toxic chemicals, innovations in toxic disposal etc. We have committed ourselves to minimize our carbon footprint, in addition to other major concerns such as energy use, material and water resource use, and waste management.
TSA: What do you hope your initiatives and products will change and improve?
TSA: What do you think are the most pressing environmental and social challenges in the industry currently?
KD: We look at the impact textile production has on global climate change. We equate climate change with our own lives and base this on studies of just how the changes will impact us directly, that wet regions will be wetter, causing flash flooding; dry regions will get drier, resulting in drought. And … a heat wave that used to occur once every 100 years now happens every five years. Most of the current focus on the carbon footprint revolves around transportation and heating issues, and the modest little fabric all around seems to be unseen. But we at Kassim Textiles see it as a gigantic carbon footprint. The textile industry is the 3rd largest contributor to CO2 emissions in Pakistan, after primary metals and nonmetallic products and their exhausts.
TSA: What do you think is the biggest obstacle to becoming a more sustainable and less harmful industry?
KD: The biggest obstacle to sustainability is greed. The race to make more and more money with minimum expenses. And to top it all the total lack of respect of the nature and turning a blind eye to the future of this planet.
TSA: What positive developments have you seen in the industry over the years?
KD: In the years I have been working here at Kassim and also observing industrial changes, though very slow paced, there is a definite awaking to the realities of the dangers to the environment. The bodies working for environmental protection have gained the voice to bring their point to the consumers, who in turn are now demanding eco-friendly and sustainable products from the producers.
TSA: In your opinion, will it be the consumer who will facilitate the change in the supply chain, or will it be the design and manufacturing industry?
KD: Designing and manufacturing is always dependent on the consumers wants and demands, hence it’s the consumer who will initiate the want, and the manufacturer shall have to cater to these demands.
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).
Earlier this month we attended the Outdoor Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, to discover new innovations in performance textiles, and hopefully discover a wide range of materials with a reduced environmental impact. Visitors were greeted by outdoor equipment and clothing manufacturers and brands, as well as dozens of suppliers and manufacturers specialising in outdoor and technical fabrics and finishes, many of whom are certified bluesign® partners.
bluesign® certification is a good sustainability indicator for performance fabrics, as it assesses water effluent, air emissions, energy consumption, worker safety, consumer safety, RSL/chemical residues, and responsible use of resources for textile products, from fibres and yarns to fabrics and final products; components for textile products, chemicals and dyestuffs, and textile processing techniques. The step of so many mills from the sector to work to the bluesign® guidelines showed a positive move towards a less harmful industry.
When talking to the companies it soon became apparent that sustainability is more of a priority in the outdoor and performance industry than in the fashion sector, with brands and mills both making it a priority to reduce their impact on the environment that they are designing for. By showcasing more of these innovations, we aim to showcase even more ways that the fashion textiles sector can lower their impact and improve on their business practices, and by proxy benefit through the reduction of waste and chemical outputs, and the saving of resources.
To round off the trade show, the European Outdoor Group hosted a Sustainability breakfast, which included presentations on topics including the environmental impact of the leather production process, cellulosic fibres, and the EOG’s latest projects. Overall it was positive to see commitment from many suppliers and brands to progress more sustainably, and hopefully seeing the outdoor industry bring greater cohesion to this journey will provide the fashion industry with more positive examples to build on.
written by Charlotte Turner
We’re really pleased to announce the launch of the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo, which has been conceived to extend the lifespan of the successful 3rd Future Fabrics Expo, through year-round online access to a curated range of sustainable fabrics and mills.
It’s due to great demand from our visitors, readers, and networks that we have developed the first trial version of the virtual expo now, to allow designers and buyers to tap into our resources as a glimpse of what is to come in Spring 2014, when we will launch the second stage of the Virtual Expo, an in-depth and advanced online Future Fabrics Virtual Expo showcasing the dozens of mills usually featured in the annual Future Fabrics Expo.
This first trial version includes six mills which represent a diverse overview of sustainable fabrics, from organic cotton denim, British wool, and sustainable silks, to Lenzing Tencel®, linen and organic cotton blends, low impact leather, European linen, and woven and knitted qualities.
The second version is intended to function as an online tool to link mills with fabrics buyers/designers efficiently, allowing constant access to sourcing and sustainability information about fabrics with a reduced environmental impact, any time, from anywhere. We will be updating the virtual expo seasonally and sharing our insights and finds from the main global textile fairs that we visit. All of this to make it even easier for you to source more sustainably.
You’ll no longer need to wait until the Future Fabrics Expo to discover new sustainable fabrics and mills, and we will be able to more effectively and continuously share the diverse range of fabrics and information that is rigorously researched throughout the year.
We will be collecting feedback about this first version of the Virtual Expo to help us build the second, which will include dozens of mills and hundreds of fabrics, with advanced search capability allowing visitors to search sustainable fabrics by terms including fibre category, environmental certifications, price, and country.
We hope you’ll check it out and leave us feedback to help improve the next version.
Please visit www.thesustainableangle.org to stay up to date with our latest news, events, and projects.
Future Fabrics Virtual Expo version two, is planned for Spring 2014.
[vimeo http://vimeo.com/78667194 w=600&h=332]
More videos and photos of our events can be seen here.
Video production and edit by Chemical Images
written by Charlotte Turner
We’re pleased to share some fantastic photos of the recent 3rd Future Fabrics Expo which took place inside Fashion SVP at London Olympia Exhibition centre at the end of September. These photos were taken by photographer Evgeniy Kazannik, co-founder of GREEN LENS STUDIOS, the first sustainable photographic studio in the UK. You can see more of these photos on our website.
GREEN LENS STUDIOS recognise that as a business they cannot be 100% eco-friendly, however, they can (and do) seek to minimise their impact on the environment, without interfering with the quality of their professional service.
As well as providing their broad clientele with reasonably-priced, highly energy efficient facilities for photo shoots and art projects, they encourage creative sustainable practice beyond GLS by regularly organising exhibitions and workshops.
You can find out more and contact them on their website.
written by Charlotte Turner
The Sustainable Angle recently welcomed hundreds of visitors from the fashion industry to the 3rd Future Fabrics Expo, held inside Fashion SVP manufacturing and sourcing fair at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, London, on 22 – 24 September 2013.
The 3rd edition of Fashion SVP was focused on near-shore manufacturing and sourcing from the European and Mediterranean region, and to reflect this the Future Fabrics Expo featured a section dedicated to British produced fabrics, as well as hundreds of European fabrics throughout the expo with a reduced environmental impact. In addition, for the first time the Future Fabrics Expo showcased a section dedicated to low impact leather and leather alternatives.
The expo was generously sponsored by mills and organisations from the textiles, retail solutions and certifications sectors: Kassim Denim, Pratibha Syntex, Swiss Organics, Avery Dennison, and GOTS, showcasing sustainability efforts across the supply chain.
We will be sharing the latest Future Fabrics Expo video and photos with you soon, and in the coming months we will be releasing a digital version of the expo, so keep in touch.
written by Charlotte Turner
Our curator Amanda Johnston will be introducing The Sustainable Angle and the impetus behind its inception, exploring how we developed our sustainability criteria, and our rationale for the research and selection of fibre and process categories.
The seminar will examine the most pertinent sustainability issues in textile fibres: for example, our over reliance on cotton and synthetics and their catastrophic impacts. We’ll unpick the minefield of life cycle analysis and look at limiting impacts by understanding how the fibre is produced and processed, and the importance of diversification and traceability.
We’ll be discussing examples of ways forward for a future materials landscape: what are our viable alternatives?
Most importantly, we’ll be looking at the challenge with the production of new fibre types or technologies; and how consensus is needed to prevent the stalling ‘push’ and ‘pull’ on the market.
The Sustainable Future of Textiles seminar will take place on Tuesday 24th September at 10.30am near the Future Fabrics Expo (Stand SD1 at Fashion SVP, Olympia 2 Exhibition Centre).
About Amanda Johnston:
Amanda Johnston is consultant and Curator for The Sustainable Angle. She is also an Associate Lecturer at London College of Fashion on their B.A, M.A and MDES programmes, and has delivered workshops on Sustainable Textiles for the Made By organisation, The Royal College of Art and the British Council. She co-authored two books; Fabric for Fashion and Fabric for Fashion the Swatch Book, both published by Laurence King in 2010.
written by Charlotte Turner
The Sustainable Angle is pleased to welcome Kassim Denim back to the Future Fabrics Expo, after showcasing the global denim company once before in the 2012 edition. This year the expo will be hosted inside Fashion SVP at Olympia, London, on 22nd – 24th September, and Kassim Denim are generously supporting the 3rd edition of the Future Fabrics Expo as a core sponsor. Their ongoing research and developments add a great deal to the global sustainable denim market and we look forward to showcasing their latest innovations.
Kassim Denim use primarily natural fibres to create their denims, combining certified organic cotton with linen and cellulosic fibres such as Lenzing Tencel to create beautiful and diverse denims for the international fashion market.
Kassim Denim have achieved a wide range of internationally recognised environmental certifications including GOTS, Oeko-Tex, and OE100, and will have a range of their denims showcased in the Future Fabrics Expo on 22nd – 24th September at Fashion SVP.
written by Charlotte Turner
Over the past two years the Future Fabrics Expo has achieved a winning combination of increasing the visibility of innovative textiles, and promoting and communicating textiles with a lower environmental impact to designers, buyers, press and global organisations, in a setting that is designed and curated to introduce textiles for the future with a lower environmental impact in a jargon-free manner. So this year we are looking forward to bringing the expo right to those designers and buyers at the forefront of the industry, by presenting the expo as part of Fashion SVP, the leading event specialising in near-shore fashion manufacturing.
Fashion SVP will take place at Olympia Exhibition Centre, London, on 22nd – 24th September 2013. Fashion SVP, established in 2011, is now expanding to encompass over 15 European and Euro-Med countries, including a healthy UK percentage, to make up a spread of over 70 companies from full-service to CMT, able to produce ladies’, men’s and children’s wear knitted and woven collections. The carefully vetted producers will be able to meet the demands and standards of UK and European buyers.
The seminars, crowded at the 2012 edition, will be expanded in 2013 under the guidance and direction of the Advisory Board (made up of the biggest UK retailers and brands) to produce a two tier programme aimed at addressing sourcing issues relevant to both senior and middle management. The topics covered will range from Regional Briefings, New technologies, Innovation in Sustainable Fabrics, Near shore versus Far East manufacturing, the Role of British Manufacturing to name a few.
The 3rd Future Fabrics Expo will show several hundred fabrics with a lower environmental impact from over 30 international mills, as well as video insights and further background research. The Sustainable Angle will also be part of the seminar series, presenting a session on sustainable textiles. For more information please visit www.fashionsvp.com
written by Charlotte Turner
We are delighted to announce that the 3rd Future Fabrics Expo will take place inside the reputable Fashion SVP manufacturing and sourcing fair at the Olympia 2 Exhibition Centre, London W14, on 22 – 24 September 2013.
The expo will be showcased inside the industry guided sourcing event Fashion SVP, which will be focused on near-shore (European and Mediterranean) manufacturing, while The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo will again showcase several hundred globally sourced sustainable textiles. The 3rd Future Fabrics Expo follows in the footsteps of our first two expos hosted in London in 2011 and 2012, exploring diverse ways to reduce environmental impact in the supply chain.
We are looking forward to presenting a wide selection of sustainable fibres, fabrics, and finishes, and getting visitors to learn about and consider their fabrics choices, both at our expo and seminar session – the full programme will be available on www.fashionsvp.com soon.
The 3rd Future Fabrics Expo will offer:
– A curated showcase aimed at designers, buyers and press, including several hundred unique and individually selected natural and man-made sustainable fabrics from diverse global mills.
– An easy to navigate sourcing and research showcase that is designed and curated to introduce textiles for the future with a reduced environmental impact in a jargon-free manner.
– A complimentary offer to Fashion SVP, which will showcase near-shore garment manufacturing exhibitors who make not just for the mid-market, but also for upmarket brands with a global audience.
– The Sustainable Angle will also share some of the latest sustainable innovations in the Fashion SVP conference programme.
– Fashion SVP will include conference sessions, the exhibition and networking opportunities.
written by Charlotte Turner
Update about the next Future Fabrics Expo organized by The Sustainable Angle: the 3rd Future Fabrics Expo will now take place in London at the end of 2013
The CIFF Future Fabrics Fair and Conference, due to take place in Copenhagen on 8-10 September 2013, has been postponed until 2014. This fair was due to host the 3rd Future Fabrics Expo by The Sustainable Angle, but has been postponed to a date in 2014 that will be suitably fitting in the busy trade fair calendar.
The next Future Fabrics Expo 2013 will therefore take place in London once again, following in the footsteps of our first two expos which were hosted in London in 2011 and 2012. We look forward to showing more than 700 1m length unique and individually selected natural and man made sustainable fabrics from over 50 global mills in a curated showcase aimed at designers, buyers, students and press.
The Future Fabrics Expo has achieved a winning combination of increasing the visibility of innovative textiles, and promoting and communicating textiles with a lower environmental impact to designers, buyers, press and global organisations, in a sourcing and research setting that is designed and curated to introduce textiles for the future with a lower environmental impact in a jargon-free manner.
We will update you in the next few weeks with details for the next Future Fabrics Expo, London 2013, and in the meantime you can visit our website and blog for our latest news.
written by Charlotte Turner
It’s been a quiet year so far for us on the blog as we have been busily planning our exciting upcoming projects for 2013, which will see us sharing our carefully curated sustainable fabrics with you both in and out of the UK.
Most exciting on the agenda is the third Future Fabrics Expo, which is due to take place in London at the end of 2013. The Expo will be presented in its usual format with a diverse selection of sustainable fabrics meeting our environmental criteria, and will showcase even more sustainable products and innovations.
To help build our sustainable fabrics collection we regularly visit Europe to talk with mills and dig deeper into the supply chain to bring you the most accurate and up to date information possible. Our latest research trip took us to Premiere Vision and Texworld in Paris, where we were pleased to see visible progress since our last visit in September.
Both large-scale global companies and much smaller textile mills with widely varying customer bases were receptive to speaking about sustainable and responsible practices, and we were really pleased to catch up with our mills regarding their new developments and progress, as well as meeting new companies from around the world. We are happy to say we will be joined by several exemplary mills and finishers in our next expo, and are looking forward to welcoming even more (please contact us regarding participation).
At the Paris shows it was terrific to see new developments across product groups, including man-made and regenerated fibres, natural fibres, processing and finishing.
By educating the industry and consumers about what state the textile industry is in, what is possible now and in the future, and by showcasing innovative developments and traditional solutions as we aim to do with the Future Fabrics Expo, we hope it will encourage people to start interrogating, questioning, researching, asking and expecting more from our textiles mills – and as we have seen there are many mills who are happy and capable to oblige.
Written by Charlotte Turner
The Sustainable Angle recently visited Paris to attend the bi-annual Premiere Vision and Texworld fabric sourcing shows. It was a chance to catch up with our favourite mills we have been working with over the last couple of years, and an opportunity to meet new and old companies with vastly differing approaches to sustainability.
Our requests for fabrics with a reduced environmental impact were met with varying levels of success and enthusiasm, though the several long conversations we had about the subject did show people’s interest to discuss the subject and really try to evaluate where the industry is now, and where it is heading in terms of sustainability.
The answer to that is not necessarily straightforward when looking at the industry as a whole, but we are pleased to say that we did come away with several new mills to showcase in the next Future Fabrics Expo, showing the continuing efforts towards sustainability.
Aside from hearing different standpoints on sustainability, one key message that was learned from the shows was that if at first you don’t succeed, you really must try and try again – hiding away your sustainable fabrics is not going to increase peoples’ awareness, and the fashion industry really is looking for those fabrics…
You can soon see some of the fantastic sustainable fabrics we came away with, and are looking forward to showing in the Future Fabrics Expo on 7th – 9thNovember.
Register to attend theFuture Fabrics Expo atwww.thesustainableangle.org/futurefabricsexpo
Image source www.lucza.com
written by Charlotte Turner
The Sustainable Angle is a not for profit organisation which initiates and supports projects which contribute to minimising the environmental impact of industry and society.
Our project The Future 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.
On November 7th – 9th 2012, the second Future Fabrics Expo organised by The Sustainable Angle, will again be hosted by the London College of Fashion with the support of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. The curated expo will showcase a diverse range of individually selected fabrics, products and ideas related to lowering the environmental impact of the fashion supply chain.
|Future Fabrics Expo 2011|
More information about this event will follow soon, and you can visit our website to find out more about our event and other services.
Along with our website, The Sustainable Angle’s latest news and events can now be read and shared here, at www.thesustainableangle.blogspot.co.uk. You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Vimeo.