5 pioneers who are using innovative sustainable fabrics
From recycled plastic to stinging nettle
The urgent environmental challenges that the world is facing is prompting designers and brands alike to reinvent their strategies and think out of the box. According to a report published by Accenture and H&M Foundation, two of the five megatrends that are shaping the future of sustainable fashion are innovative recycling and nature-inspired materials. Whether it is recovering value out of waste materials or using more efficient ways of decomposing fabric, this is a pivotal area that has all our attention. We‘re highlighting five pioneers who are pushing the boundaries of eco-innovation.
Adidas Originals, in collaboration with an environmental initiative Parley for the Oceans, recently released an eco-conscious sneaker ‘EQT Support ADV CK’. The sneaker has been made using plastic that has been intercepted on the beaches of the Maldives and near-by coastal communities before it reaches the ocean. Not only does this preserve the environment, but it also protects the aquatic life from ingesting plastic debris.
The EQT Support ADV CK sneakers.
2. Madhu Jain
Craft revivalist and textile conservationist Madhu Jain — nicknamed as the first lady of Ikat — recently introduced the world’s first bamboo silk ikat. A result of 14 years of extensive research, this fabric supposedly has anti-bacterial properties and natural UV protection. And the fact that India is the second largest producer of bamboo only makes it easier. “Bamboo as a fabric is fantastic, it’s the poor man’s linen. Also, the textile is biodegradable, eco-friendly, non-toxic and pocket-friendly. I love the fact that this new textile does not eat into the earth’s meagre resources,” Madhu was quoted saying.
An ensemble made of Bamboo silk Ikat from Madhu Jain’s collection.
This London-based swimwear brand uses recycled fabrics made from Econyl, a regenerated nylon fiber, made from discarded fishing nets and other nylon waste.
Explore how it’s done here:
4. Leila Hafzi
This Norwegian designer uses nettle and natural hemp in her collections that she sources from the foot of the Himalayas. She works with women artisans in Nepal who knit and spin the Himalayan Giant Nettle (also called ‘Allo’). “I feel like it is my responsibility to create slow fashion that will last for generations, and this allows me to create classical and timeless designs that can go from one generation to the next,” she said in an interview.
The finest silks, cashmere, nettle and organic cotton have been hand painted to create this gown.
This yarn uses 100% post consumer plastic bottles that are sourced, processed and spun to create recycled fabric that is supplied to brands and designers alike that encompasses fashion, sportswear and even home furnishings. Livia Firth, creative director of Eco-Age, was one of the first few to collaborate with Newlife to create bespoke designer wear like the Giorgio Armani gown she wore to the 69th Golden Globe Awards.
Livia Firth wearing a Giorgio Armani gown made out of Newline Yarn.