Types of sustainable materials for the textile industry
Types of sustainable materials for the textile industry: Today it is time to delve into the greatest challenge facing the textile sector. The environmental problem. Specifically, I want to talk about sustainable fabrics or materials for the development of fashion garments and accessories . And everything that is happening in the fashion industry to find the best alternatives to manufacture garments that help to take better care of our planet.
Let’s try to take a look at what some of these raw materials are and some of the most interesting projects. In recent years in sustainable matters in the sector, which really are providing value and real exchange options for the sector.
If we talk about the king of sustainable fabrics, this position is undoubtedly occupied by organic cotton . Which in any case only represents 1% of the world’s cotton textile production . And which is one that has been cultivated without any pesticide.
Companies like Inditex , which are in the eye of the hurricane due to their “environmental debts” with the planet, are incorporating organic cotton into their productions by force.
Specifically, the Group chaired by Amancio Ortega is already the fourth world consumer of this sustainable fabric. They are already manufacturing over 60 million garments made from sustainable organic cotton.
Hopefully he will lead that ranking soon, it will be very good news for everyone.
Likewise, and through their ZARA brand, they launched the JOIN LIFE collection, which was designed to be produced from materials derived from tree fibers (in no case were these trees cut from primary or ecologically protected forests).
Materials such as lyocell, viscose or modal made up the collection.
It is obvious that we urgently need a change in the approach and design of the collections of the major brands, above all. And I believe that education needs to help understand that need for the consumer. And that laws support change, and compel entrepreneurs and creatives to follow the same path.
Devise garments that can be recycled, that come from raw materials that do not harm the environment in their process, with resistant materials that make their life last, with materials that come from recycling. Precisely the latter is what differentiates the project that best represents this emerging and urgent international trend. I am referring to ECOALF.
The company founded by the great entrepreneur Javier Goyeneche recycles recycled fishing nets, coffee grounds, plastic bottles, tires, cotton and wool to produce unique fabrics for his own collections.
“Unfortunately people have not noticed, but the ocean has become a kind of wastebasket,” Javier laments himself.
They have developed a brand with impeccable branding and product, since according to Goyeneche they could not grow and achieve market share if they were not able to design at height, in addition to being able to help save our ocean and make our seas survive and be sustainable.
Every minute the equivalent of a 16-ton garbage truck is dumped into the sea. “And a lot of that plastic becomes microplastic that the fish eat, fish that we are eating,” says this great businessman who had a dream of doing something similar to ECOALF with his Fun & Basics brand, but the great economic crisis led to the bankruptcy.But that did not stop the good Javier, and ECOALF is an example that things with work and awareness are achieved.
There are other materials like bamboo fiber, hemp, cork or wood. These can be interestingly used in different garments or fashion accessories.
For example, bamboo is grown without pesticides and doesn’t need a lot of water for growing. And it is very durable. It can be used for socks, shirts or shirts.
In any case, we must try as consumers to be the first to do our bit through responsible consumption. We buy, use (or even never get brand new) and throw away or store nonsense… and then buy again, and the loop never ends. But the planet is drowning.
Every year 8 million tons of clothing are thrown away in Europe and barely a fifth is recycled, something insignificant in the negative impact of excess production and irresponsible consumption. In this sense, important steps are being taken from the sector.
Stella McCartney have developed new models and garments based on vegetable leather, limiting energy costs as much as possible.
H&M has just released its seventh collection of ecological garments named “Conscious”, which includes materials with a very low environmental impact such as tencel, organic linen or recycled polyester.
They have even developed a fabric that they have called ECONYL that develops garments with embroidery. And they are working on recycled silver for their jewelry collections.
A creative advisor to the Swedish group comments that they have developed ECONYL by taking advantage of nylon waste that helps keep the oceans clean. The new material has already been registered by the Nordic brand, and may contribute to a better future for the sector.
Haute couture and sports fashion have also shown great interest in research into the development of recycled fabrics. And other alternatives made from unusual materials such as mushrooms, oranges and even proteins inspired by the DNA of cobwebs.
Pineapple and orange fiber
Salvatore Ferragamo has already been selling scarves made of orange fibers Adidas, meanwhile, is producing athletic shoes made from reclaimed plastics on beaches and oceanfront communities that are part of a product line developed through its collaboration with anti-plastic activist group Parley for the Oceans. Recycled fruit waste is another promising substance for creating alternative fabrics.
The Italian company Orange Fiber is helping development and collaborated with Ferragamo in its collection of scarves. It has provided the designer with the fabric from the fruit itself, which precisely gives its company its name.
Companies such as Edun – the sustainable clothing brand owned by LVMH Möet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Also make articles from pineapple leaf fibers, thanks to the creation of a fabric called Piñatex.
In short, we have many options, more and more to create without losing essence, being aware. And I think that this can only get better, because the textile sector is beginning to wake up.
Not surprisingly, perhaps we have realized that we are neither more nor less than the second most polluting industry. Almost nothing. Time to turn the heading 180 degrees!
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