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TEXTILE TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION

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Jean Paul Gaultier 2010 Palm Tree Purses

IN RECOGNITION OF THE DETRIMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF MODERN DAY INDUSTRIAL PROCESSES, PROFESSIONALS FROM ACROSS THE BOARD ARE COMING TOGETHER TO CREATE AND PRODUCE ALTERNATIVE MATERIALS AND PROCESSES THAT PROMOTE CIRCULAR ECONOMY DESIGN. HERE WE TAKE A BRIEF LOOK AT REVOLUTIONARY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE TEXTILE WORLD.

Words By Tyler Richmond

This is an exciting time for innovation in fashion, as designers look to science for more sustainable and unique alternatives to standard textile production processes. New research and technologies are allowing designers to be more experimental in creating more sustainable materials. These emerging textile technologies often make use of unusual plants, waste products and even bacteria to produce more natural and low-waste alternatives to standard textiles used in fashion. Here, we explore four exciting textiles that are making a big impact in the market of fashion.
Image from brand Desserto to accompany explanation.

Photography by Desserto

Cactus

Desserto is an innovative leather alternative made from cactus. With the look and feel of real leather, as well as its compliance with the leather industry’s quality and performance standards, Desserto, the Cactus Vegan-Leather, is a true game changer for the future of fashion. Additionally, unlike conventional leather, Desserto is a highly sustainable, organic and cruelty free textile that is free from toxic chemicals, phthalates and PVC. What’s not to love?

Orange Fiber

Orange Fiber is the first brand to develop textiles made from the byproducts of citrus juice. The fibre is easily variable in appearance, as the silk-like cellulose yarn has the ability to be used in a blend with other types of yarn. Orange Fiber’s circular approach toward production has made for a sustainable and cruelty free textile alternative that mimics the feel and appearance of real silk. You can see this material being used by brands and designers such as Salvatore Ferragamo Maison, Mario Trimarchi and H&M.

Decorative Image to accompany Orange Fiber Description

@gabbois

To accompany description

By Miskes

Pineapple

Piñatex® is a unique textile that mimics the look of leather however, is produced from the leaves of the pineapple plant. This material makes for a natural, sustainable and cruelty free alternative to animal leather products. 

Miskes is a London based brand, known for its minimalistic style and practicality in all things clothing, homewear, art and decor. Valuing transparency and sustainability, Kät, designer and founder of Miskes, consciously selects materials and handcrafts each product in her London-based studio. Making use of materials like buckwheat husk, recycled paper, carbon neutral and ethically sourced organic cotton, and perhaps most notably Piñatex®.

Milk

In recognition of the drastic amounts of milk waste produced by his uncle’s dairy farm in China – as well as by the global dairy industry each year- Mi Terro, and his chemist friend, developed a revolutionary solution to transform spoiled milk into a multi-functional textile fibre. The milk-based textile feels great on the skin as it is three times softer than cotton, breathable, moisture wicking, stretchy, anti-bacterial, odor-free, and blocks UV rays. To learn more about this innovative material and its process of production, check out How It Works at miterro.com.

To accompany description

@shmakegodt

 

Bacteria

The bacterial printing biotechnology of Tamara Hoogeweegen, is a unique lab-grown alternative to conventional textile printing. This method of printing is produced by growing bacterial cultures in petri dishes, then applying them with the help of heat to fabrics. As a pioneer in bacterial printing, Hoogeweegen views biotechnology as a means to empower society, and has therefore created an openly accessible booklet entitled ‘Bacteria Printing for Dummies’.

Bacterial Cellulose

Research by Chan, Shin and Jiang, is an example of the potential for zero-waste production of textiles using a self-growing biomaterial, bacterial cellulose textile. According to their research, the use of ‘contact surface blocking cultivation’ and ‘panel-shaped cultivation’ were successful in the effort of producing tailored textile pattern pieces. An inevitable advantage of using this textile technology is the elimination of the cut phase during manufacturing. This amounts to a significant reduction in production costs, energy consumption and natural resource depletion, as the accumulation of fabric off-cuts is eradicated.

While these novel and unique techniques to generate textiles are revolutionising the industry, and though still far from mass implementation, they continue to inspire change. We encourage you to check out Modern Meadow, a great online resource to further explore the research and developments within textile innovation. The future of sustainable fashion starts here. 

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