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Sustainable fashion (in sport): the necessary step
Nowadays lots of people are getting a more sustainable mindset: they eat organic food, drive electric cars and buy second hand clothing. There is still a very long way to go, but let’s face it: the topic is hot. Many brands wants to get in the sustainable hype. It does not take a genius to see that a lot of companies acting green are actually just green washing. This seems like a bad thing, but it still does some part of the trick: creating the right mindset. Which of course is needed for the right actions. Sustainable fashion Like many other industries, fashion is making great steps in getting more sustainable. Also in fashion we see a lot of greenwashing (not calling names here). Usually the smaller brands are the ones that are really fair and sustainable. And also the ones who are very inovatif in ways to become sustainable. Like ( this article ) which shows perfect examples of looking further than the standard ways to go. Sportswear Were some parts of fashion are leading on the topic of fair fashion, baby clothing is one of them, some parts are tragically behind. An example of this is the sportswear industry. Thinking about this makes it a little ironic. Most people who are passionate about sports are very committed to mother nature. Running, climbing, swimming, ice skating, and so forth. Why is their apparel not sustainable? There are plenty of beautiful options for creating sustainable sportswear (like discussed here ). Recycled polyester When looking at sportswear the first thing to notice is that lots of it is from polyester. The image of polyester is getting worse by the day. And for good reason! Everybody knows the terrible images of plastic soups and animals getting killed by it. But besides that, polyester is a beautiful material for sportswear. When used sustainable it is still an option fabric option. Polyester is available in hundreds of different chemical compositions. The most common one is known as RPET. This is the one of which sports fabric is made. And here is the good part: it lends itself perfectly for recycling. The fiber from raw material (from oil) is exactly the same as a recycled fiber. So, why not use all this  plastic waste in our advantage, and create something beautiful from it? Bamboo Another great option for sustainable sportswear is bamboo. It has advantages on two levels: the growing of it and the attributes of it for sports applications. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants out there. Some types grow by a meter a day! Also, it needs very little water and can grow where nothing else will, so no forest is needed to clear (like needed for cotton for example). If that is not enough, know that bamboo is resistant of a lot of bugs and diseases, so very little to no pesticides are needed. Of course, this is all very helpful for our already plagued environment. For sportswear, bamboo is excellent in comparing it to other materials. The fabric has great isolation, which makes it warmer when it’s cold, but fresher when its warm. Also, the fabric has great ventilation because of the micro holes in the fiber. When you do sweat, it absorbs moisture very good and also drains it fast. If this is not enough for you, then use it because it is soft as silk and strong as leather! Besides the material There are several other points you need to take into account when talking about sustainable fashion. Of course, these doesn’t just apply for sportswear, but for every item of clothing you produce (and want to do it fair and sustainable). The fashion industry has made a name for itself in treating workers poorly. We all know the sad stories about sweatshops and dangerous working conditions. It goes to far for this article to dig into this matter, but please be aware that just because a t-shirt is made from bamboo, it is not necessarily sustainable. There is plenty to go on for your own research, just start reading and figuring out what’s important for you! https://www.whatsorb.com/category/fashion
Nowadays lots of people are getting a more sustainable mindset: they eat organic food, drive electric cars and buy second hand clothing. There is still a very long way to go, but let’s face it: the topic is hot. Many brands wants to get in the sustainable hype. It does not take a genius to see that a lot of companies acting green are actually just green washing. This seems like a bad thing, but it still does some part of the trick: creating the right mindset. Which of course is needed for the right actions. Sustainable fashion Like many other industries, fashion is making great steps in getting more sustainable. Also in fashion we see a lot of greenwashing (not calling names here). Usually the smaller brands are the ones that are really fair and sustainable. And also the ones who are very inovatif in ways to become sustainable. Like ( this article ) which shows perfect examples of looking further than the standard ways to go. Sportswear Were some parts of fashion are leading on the topic of fair fashion, baby clothing is one of them, some parts are tragically behind. An example of this is the sportswear industry. Thinking about this makes it a little ironic. Most people who are passionate about sports are very committed to mother nature. Running, climbing, swimming, ice skating, and so forth. Why is their apparel not sustainable? There are plenty of beautiful options for creating sustainable sportswear (like discussed here ). Recycled polyester When looking at sportswear the first thing to notice is that lots of it is from polyester. The image of polyester is getting worse by the day. And for good reason! Everybody knows the terrible images of plastic soups and animals getting killed by it. But besides that, polyester is a beautiful material for sportswear. When used sustainable it is still an option fabric option. Polyester is available in hundreds of different chemical compositions. The most common one is known as RPET. This is the one of which sports fabric is made. And here is the good part: it lends itself perfectly for recycling. The fiber from raw material (from oil) is exactly the same as a recycled fiber. So, why not use all this  plastic waste in our advantage, and create something beautiful from it? Bamboo Another great option for sustainable sportswear is bamboo. It has advantages on two levels: the growing of it and the attributes of it for sports applications. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants out there. Some types grow by a meter a day! Also, it needs very little water and can grow where nothing else will, so no forest is needed to clear (like needed for cotton for example). If that is not enough, know that bamboo is resistant of a lot of bugs and diseases, so very little to no pesticides are needed. Of course, this is all very helpful for our already plagued environment. For sportswear, bamboo is excellent in comparing it to other materials. The fabric has great isolation, which makes it warmer when it’s cold, but fresher when its warm. Also, the fabric has great ventilation because of the micro holes in the fiber. When you do sweat, it absorbs moisture very good and also drains it fast. If this is not enough for you, then use it because it is soft as silk and strong as leather! Besides the material There are several other points you need to take into account when talking about sustainable fashion. Of course, these doesn’t just apply for sportswear, but for every item of clothing you produce (and want to do it fair and sustainable). The fashion industry has made a name for itself in treating workers poorly. We all know the sad stories about sweatshops and dangerous working conditions. It goes to far for this article to dig into this matter, but please be aware that just because a t-shirt is made from bamboo, it is not necessarily sustainable. There is plenty to go on for your own research, just start reading and figuring out what’s important for you! https://www.whatsorb.com/category/fashion
Sustainable fashion (in sport): the necessary step
Sustainable fashion (in sport): the necessary step
State of Fashion: Searching for the New Luxury
Last month we have already discussed circular fashion , a way of manufacturing and utilising clothes and accessories in a way that will what we wear more environmentally friendly. Today, we would like to introduce you to State of Fashion 2018: Searching for the New Luxury – an exhibition that explores new techniques and technologies that aim to make fashion more sustainable. This exhibition is currently taking place in Arnhem, the Netherlands, a country that, as we discovered in our previous article, is at the forefront of making fashion more sustainable.  It features works by established designers and fashion houses, such as G-Star Raw, Hermes and Vivienne Westwood, as well as upcoming studios like Threeasfour and Algaefabrics. This event aims to rethink what fashion is on a fundamental level and help consumers make better choices in a market that is focused on launching new things as quickly as possible. Why New Luxury? The exhibition explores a new definition of what luxury is – less waste and pollution, more equality, welfare and inclusiveness. According to José Teunissen, the curator of this exhibition, "The new luxury is about imagination and coming up with new ideas, and a new universe that matches better with our daily lives and values. It's about agency and taking control." The future of sustainable fashion State of Fashion acts as a host to multitude of projects that are focusing on various areas and aspects of fashion and we would like to introduce you to some of the most innovative and interesting ones. First on our list is Funghi Fashion, also known as MycoTex, a project from NEFFA and one of the 5 winners of 2018 Global Change Awards. Like many of us, they were very becoming very aware of the waste that fast fashion creates and they have decided to tackle the problem at its root – quite literally. Funghi Fashion use mycelium – mushroom roots – in combination with their Body-Based modelling process to create perfectly fitting custom garments.  Unlike traditional clothing, these garments do not need to be cut and sewn and their shorter supply chain reduces water usage and eliminates need for chemical and pesticides. But best of all is the fact that after you have worn the garment, you can simply burry it in the ground and it will naturally decompose. This innovative scheme tackles many major concerns that exist in apparel production and we would love to see more designs from Funghi Fashion! Another project that is looking to introduce new materials into the world of fashion is AlgaeFabrics. As the name suggests, they are working on developing a new type of raw textile material from algae. Algae are found in abundance in oceans and lakes and have many amazing properties – they act as a crucial food source for many species, they convert large volumes of CO2 to oxygen and help clean up the oceans by absorbing waste. However, when they grow excessively, algae can become a nuisance and have a negative impact on water quality and thus local communities. They often get removed from the lakes and burnt, but Tjeerd Veenhoven, the founder of AlgaeFabrics, sees it as a waste. Algae are rich in cellulose, which means that they have a great potential. While this project is still in development, we are sure that it has a great potential and who knows, perhaps this could become the most fashionable material in floating communities of the future ? Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato takes a different approach to sustainable fashion. Instead of inventing new materials, he is focusing on developing a new garment construction system called Unit Constructed Textile. His designs are made with panels of fabric called Units that are all connected in a way that allows them to be easily replaced. This unique system lets consumers repair their clothing with ease and make changes to the design, potentially allowing the garments to be handed down over generations. The last company on our list, Fashion 4 Freedom calls themselves “the first socially responsible, ethical and transparent supply chain in Vietnam”. In the recent years there was a lot of controversy surrounding working conditions on many clothing factories and more companies have pledged to conduct more thorough checks of their suppliers. Unfortunately, most companies outsource their production and rely on agents to oversee that process, which makes it hard for them to have full control over day-to-day operations. Fashion 4 Freedom connects companies directly with local artisans, craft and textile villages and partnered companies without the need for middlemen. Their system allows for production of higher quality garments, preservation of many crafts, higher transparency and economic empowerment for the artisans. As the companies have more control and awareness of where and how their garments are manufactured, they will be more willing to share this with the consumers. This is a truly inspiring initiative that benefits many and it would be great to see more companies adopt this approach! What do you think the new luxury should be? Are there any new companies in the fashion industry that you think can make a real change? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Last month we have already discussed circular fashion , a way of manufacturing and utilising clothes and accessories in a way that will what we wear more environmentally friendly. Today, we would like to introduce you to State of Fashion 2018: Searching for the New Luxury – an exhibition that explores new techniques and technologies that aim to make fashion more sustainable. This exhibition is currently taking place in Arnhem, the Netherlands, a country that, as we discovered in our previous article, is at the forefront of making fashion more sustainable.  It features works by established designers and fashion houses, such as G-Star Raw, Hermes and Vivienne Westwood, as well as upcoming studios like Threeasfour and Algaefabrics. This event aims to rethink what fashion is on a fundamental level and help consumers make better choices in a market that is focused on launching new things as quickly as possible. Why New Luxury? The exhibition explores a new definition of what luxury is – less waste and pollution, more equality, welfare and inclusiveness. According to José Teunissen, the curator of this exhibition, "The new luxury is about imagination and coming up with new ideas, and a new universe that matches better with our daily lives and values. It's about agency and taking control." The future of sustainable fashion State of Fashion acts as a host to multitude of projects that are focusing on various areas and aspects of fashion and we would like to introduce you to some of the most innovative and interesting ones. First on our list is Funghi Fashion, also known as MycoTex, a project from NEFFA and one of the 5 winners of 2018 Global Change Awards. Like many of us, they were very becoming very aware of the waste that fast fashion creates and they have decided to tackle the problem at its root – quite literally. Funghi Fashion use mycelium – mushroom roots – in combination with their Body-Based modelling process to create perfectly fitting custom garments.  Unlike traditional clothing, these garments do not need to be cut and sewn and their shorter supply chain reduces water usage and eliminates need for chemical and pesticides. But best of all is the fact that after you have worn the garment, you can simply burry it in the ground and it will naturally decompose. This innovative scheme tackles many major concerns that exist in apparel production and we would love to see more designs from Funghi Fashion! Another project that is looking to introduce new materials into the world of fashion is AlgaeFabrics. As the name suggests, they are working on developing a new type of raw textile material from algae. Algae are found in abundance in oceans and lakes and have many amazing properties – they act as a crucial food source for many species, they convert large volumes of CO2 to oxygen and help clean up the oceans by absorbing waste. However, when they grow excessively, algae can become a nuisance and have a negative impact on water quality and thus local communities. They often get removed from the lakes and burnt, but Tjeerd Veenhoven, the founder of AlgaeFabrics, sees it as a waste. Algae are rich in cellulose, which means that they have a great potential. While this project is still in development, we are sure that it has a great potential and who knows, perhaps this could become the most fashionable material in floating communities of the future ? Japanese designer Yuima Nakazato takes a different approach to sustainable fashion. Instead of inventing new materials, he is focusing on developing a new garment construction system called Unit Constructed Textile. His designs are made with panels of fabric called Units that are all connected in a way that allows them to be easily replaced. This unique system lets consumers repair their clothing with ease and make changes to the design, potentially allowing the garments to be handed down over generations. The last company on our list, Fashion 4 Freedom calls themselves “the first socially responsible, ethical and transparent supply chain in Vietnam”. In the recent years there was a lot of controversy surrounding working conditions on many clothing factories and more companies have pledged to conduct more thorough checks of their suppliers. Unfortunately, most companies outsource their production and rely on agents to oversee that process, which makes it hard for them to have full control over day-to-day operations. Fashion 4 Freedom connects companies directly with local artisans, craft and textile villages and partnered companies without the need for middlemen. Their system allows for production of higher quality garments, preservation of many crafts, higher transparency and economic empowerment for the artisans. As the companies have more control and awareness of where and how their garments are manufactured, they will be more willing to share this with the consumers. This is a truly inspiring initiative that benefits many and it would be great to see more companies adopt this approach! What do you think the new luxury should be? Are there any new companies in the fashion industry that you think can make a real change? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
State of Fashion: Searching for the New Luxury
State of Fashion: Searching for the New Luxury
Clothing from #recycled material by JUNGL, a young #Amsterdam fashion brand.
There are about 23 plastic bottles in the jackets and they can be worn on two sides. We spoke with initiator Natascha (23) about her sustainable business. 1 jacket, 2 sides From her childhood she focused on people, animals and the environment. It was quickly clear that she wanted to set up her own company and wanted to work with sustainable products. 'I have gone into the fashion industry, because here in my opinion a lot goes wrong. It is polluting, working conditions are often not good and animals are being treated badly. ' She decided to focus on plastic as part of the problem and solution. In Waste2Wear she found a reliable and transparent producer, specialized in the processing of plastic waste to clothing. Fashion brand JUNGL was born and Natascha designed a jacket that is wearable on two sides. 'That means that only one jacket needs to be produced and the consumer can wear two.' 23 plastic bottles In the jackets are on average 23 plastic bottles of 0.5 liters processed. These are used plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in nature or the incinerator. By using collected plastic bottles, no new raw materials are used. 'In comparison with polyester, water consumption is 86% lower, energy consumption 70% lower and CO2 emissions 75% lower. The jackets are produced under good conditions in Shanghai and transported to the Netherlands by freighter, which in this case is the most sustainable option. ' JUNGL also takes the environment into account as far as possible for other matters. The shipping boxes, flyers and business cards are made from recycled paper and plastic is not used for the shipment of the products. The little suffering that is called microplastics Like polyester clothing from new raw materials, the jackets give microplastics during washing. 'Waste2Wear, however, ensures that the quality of the yarn is as good as possible, so that they wear less quickly. As a result, fewer microplastics release during washing. ' In order to minimize the pollution of microplastics, Natascha advises its customers to wash the jacket as little as possible. And if you wash it as cold as possible and without using the dryer. 'This does not help to reduce micro-plastics, but it is a lot more sustainable.' Ultimately, the young entrepreneur hopes that a solution will be found for the small harmful particles. That solution may already be on the way, because these Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a laundry bag that captures microplastics. Do not be tempted Natascha's tip for other starting entrepreneurs is very clear. 'Stick to your sustainable position and do not be' tempted 'by the polluting market, which in many cases is easier to enter. Keep going and keep in mind that every little bit helps. " Her own plans for the future are already clear. 'I would like to expand the collection. With what kind of product I do not know yet, but in any case made of sustainable or recycled material. ' Her mission has just begun: making people aware of the need to reduce plastic waste. 'I want to offer consumers an alternative to polluting clothing. And eventually I open my own fair trade factory, specializing in the recycling of materials. ' The jackets cost € 119, - and are for sale in the JUNGL webshop. https://www.junglamsterdam.com/
There are about 23 plastic bottles in the jackets and they can be worn on two sides. We spoke with initiator Natascha (23) about her sustainable business. 1 jacket, 2 sides From her childhood she focused on people, animals and the environment. It was quickly clear that she wanted to set up her own company and wanted to work with sustainable products. 'I have gone into the fashion industry, because here in my opinion a lot goes wrong. It is polluting, working conditions are often not good and animals are being treated badly. ' She decided to focus on plastic as part of the problem and solution. In Waste2Wear she found a reliable and transparent producer, specialized in the processing of plastic waste to clothing. Fashion brand JUNGL was born and Natascha designed a jacket that is wearable on two sides. 'That means that only one jacket needs to be produced and the consumer can wear two.' 23 plastic bottles In the jackets are on average 23 plastic bottles of 0.5 liters processed. These are used plastic bottles that would otherwise end up in nature or the incinerator. By using collected plastic bottles, no new raw materials are used. 'In comparison with polyester, water consumption is 86% lower, energy consumption 70% lower and CO2 emissions 75% lower. The jackets are produced under good conditions in Shanghai and transported to the Netherlands by freighter, which in this case is the most sustainable option. ' JUNGL also takes the environment into account as far as possible for other matters. The shipping boxes, flyers and business cards are made from recycled paper and plastic is not used for the shipment of the products. The little suffering that is called microplastics Like polyester clothing from new raw materials, the jackets give microplastics during washing. 'Waste2Wear, however, ensures that the quality of the yarn is as good as possible, so that they wear less quickly. As a result, fewer microplastics release during washing. ' In order to minimize the pollution of microplastics, Natascha advises its customers to wash the jacket as little as possible. And if you wash it as cold as possible and without using the dryer. 'This does not help to reduce micro-plastics, but it is a lot more sustainable.' Ultimately, the young entrepreneur hopes that a solution will be found for the small harmful particles. That solution may already be on the way, because these Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a laundry bag that captures microplastics. Do not be tempted Natascha's tip for other starting entrepreneurs is very clear. 'Stick to your sustainable position and do not be' tempted 'by the polluting market, which in many cases is easier to enter. Keep going and keep in mind that every little bit helps. " Her own plans for the future are already clear. 'I would like to expand the collection. With what kind of product I do not know yet, but in any case made of sustainable or recycled material. ' Her mission has just begun: making people aware of the need to reduce plastic waste. 'I want to offer consumers an alternative to polluting clothing. And eventually I open my own fair trade factory, specializing in the recycling of materials. ' The jackets cost € 119, - and are for sale in the JUNGL webshop. https://www.junglamsterdam.com/
Clothing from #recycled material by JUNGL, a young #Amsterdam fashion brand.
Stella McCartney lays waste to disposable fashion in Paris
The designer continues to break down barriers by showing how ethical clothing can hold its own on high-end catwalks Glamour for its own sake is not something I have ever been particularly interested in,” Stella McCartney said backstage after her catwalk show. Which could sound like a facetious statement from a fashion designer who was, at that moment, standing among the marble-slabbed floors, elaborately frescoed ceilings and giant chandeliers of the Palais Garnier opera house, where the show was staged. But McCartney has broken down barriers between high fashion and ethical fashion by straddling two worlds. Her mission statement is that clothes made from sustainable viscose and cruelty-free alternatives to leather should not be targeted at a niche market, but shown to hold their own on the Paris fashion week catwalk. The invitations to this show were rolls of logoed eco-friendly, recycled and recyclable bin bags made from low-density polyethylene, stamped with the label’s logo. The designer’s most recent advertising campaign was shot in a Scottish landfill site, featuring the models Birgit Kos in a camel jumpsuit on top of the decaying wreck of a car, and Iana Godnia in a green lace party dress prone on a bed of cardboard and flattened milk cartons. The bin bags, and the campaign, were intended to encourage debate about wastefulness in the fashion industry, in which McCartney is engaging by using yarn made from plastic bottles retrieved from the seas by the Parley for the Oceans initiative to make a Parley Ultra Boost trainer and the Ocean Legend Falabella handbag. In partnership with the fashion resale site The RealReal, McCartney is also embracing the “circular economy” by encouraging resale as one strategy for reducing the 75% of clothes worldwide that end up in landfill. This collection was strong on the day-to-night staples the Stella McCartney customer wants. (The designer herself was wearing tailored caramel-coloured trousers with a toning crew neck knit, because “it’s work, and I have too much to do to get dressed up”.) The double-breasted blazer which is on every front row this season came with an elbow-length sleeve for spring, while jumpsuits, a signature of the label, came slinky and tailored or in a blowsier boiler suit silhouette. French taffeta evening separates – a puffball skirt, and a ruffled blouse – were pressed flat to drag them up to date. “I’ve always done that with party dresses – take the lining out to flatten them, or chop into them,” said McCartney.  Next year, Stella McCartney’s London flagship store will move from Bruton Street to a landmark Old Bond Street location. The move is the most prominent symbol of the label’s strong financial results. In 2016, turnover rose 31% to £41.7m, while profits increased 42.5% to £7m. The label also releases environmental profit and loss results, measuring the business’s environmental impact. In 2016, this impact rose 2%, an increase significantly smaller than the growth of the business. The company said its rising production and sales were largely offset by reductions in the impact of raw material use, for instance by replacing virgin cashmere fibres with regenerated cashmere that had previously been considered a waste material.  
The designer continues to break down barriers by showing how ethical clothing can hold its own on high-end catwalks Glamour for its own sake is not something I have ever been particularly interested in,” Stella McCartney said backstage after her catwalk show. Which could sound like a facetious statement from a fashion designer who was, at that moment, standing among the marble-slabbed floors, elaborately frescoed ceilings and giant chandeliers of the Palais Garnier opera house, where the show was staged. But McCartney has broken down barriers between high fashion and ethical fashion by straddling two worlds. Her mission statement is that clothes made from sustainable viscose and cruelty-free alternatives to leather should not be targeted at a niche market, but shown to hold their own on the Paris fashion week catwalk. The invitations to this show were rolls of logoed eco-friendly, recycled and recyclable bin bags made from low-density polyethylene, stamped with the label’s logo. The designer’s most recent advertising campaign was shot in a Scottish landfill site, featuring the models Birgit Kos in a camel jumpsuit on top of the decaying wreck of a car, and Iana Godnia in a green lace party dress prone on a bed of cardboard and flattened milk cartons. The bin bags, and the campaign, were intended to encourage debate about wastefulness in the fashion industry, in which McCartney is engaging by using yarn made from plastic bottles retrieved from the seas by the Parley for the Oceans initiative to make a Parley Ultra Boost trainer and the Ocean Legend Falabella handbag. In partnership with the fashion resale site The RealReal, McCartney is also embracing the “circular economy” by encouraging resale as one strategy for reducing the 75% of clothes worldwide that end up in landfill. This collection was strong on the day-to-night staples the Stella McCartney customer wants. (The designer herself was wearing tailored caramel-coloured trousers with a toning crew neck knit, because “it’s work, and I have too much to do to get dressed up”.) The double-breasted blazer which is on every front row this season came with an elbow-length sleeve for spring, while jumpsuits, a signature of the label, came slinky and tailored or in a blowsier boiler suit silhouette. French taffeta evening separates – a puffball skirt, and a ruffled blouse – were pressed flat to drag them up to date. “I’ve always done that with party dresses – take the lining out to flatten them, or chop into them,” said McCartney.  Next year, Stella McCartney’s London flagship store will move from Bruton Street to a landmark Old Bond Street location. The move is the most prominent symbol of the label’s strong financial results. In 2016, turnover rose 31% to £41.7m, while profits increased 42.5% to £7m. The label also releases environmental profit and loss results, measuring the business’s environmental impact. In 2016, this impact rose 2%, an increase significantly smaller than the growth of the business. The company said its rising production and sales were largely offset by reductions in the impact of raw material use, for instance by replacing virgin cashmere fibres with regenerated cashmere that had previously been considered a waste material.  
Stella McCartney lays waste to disposable fashion in Paris
Stella McCartney lays waste to disposable fashion in Paris
#Waste less. The #fashion industry must spend more on research.
The rise of fast fashion in Australia means 6000 kg of clothing is dumped in landfill every 10 minutes. The ABC’s War On Waste visualised this statistic by piling a giant mound of clothing waste in the middle of the city. So what to do about it? Sustainable fashion experts advocate abstaining from buying fast fashion, promoting clothing swaps and repairing old clothing. Others suggest buying organic and ethically-sourced clothes or designing clothing using zero waste techniques. The hope is that greater transparency in supply chains will lead to an end to sweatshops and unsustainable fashion practices. These are admirable initiatives, but they only reduce wastage or delay garments from ending up in landfill. They do not address the fact that the scale of fast fashion is so massive it can easily eclipse other sustainability initiatives. Nor do they address the wastefulness of existing technologies and the urgent need to research new ones. Even if we could magically stop the global production of all garments, we would still need new, green technology to clean up the waste we have already created. There are long-term strategies for green technologies such as electric cars, but where are the major companies and research institutes developing the next generation of sustainable fashion technologies? The development of new synthetic biology technologies may be the key. From catwalk to research I would like to share my journey from zero waste fashion design pioneer to trans-disciplinary fashion researcher to highlight the challenges faced by sustainable fashion and the need for more research. Ten years ago, I presented my “Zero-Waste” Fashion collection at London Fashion Week. I and other sustainable designers at the time took the waste streams of other industries such as scrap materials and leftover fabric and created our collections from them. I was selected for “Estethica”, a new initiative created by sustainable fashion gurus Orsola De Castro, Filippo Ricci and Anna Orsini from the British Fashion Council. Sustainable fashion was shown on London catwalks next to luxury fashion – a revolutionary step for the time. I pioneered a way of creating tailored, high fashion garments so that all the pieces of a garment fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle and no waste was created. Conventional pattern cutting creates about 15% wastage of material, even if the pattern has been optimised by a computer. I wanted to systemically change the way clothing was made. To design a garment with zero waste requires new patternmaking techniques, based on advanced mathematics. But the problem with zero-waste design is that it is very difficult to create. It requires a skilled designer to simultaneously imagine the garment as a 3D item and a flat pattern, while trying to fit the pieces together like a jigsaw. It is easy to make an unfitted or baggy garment, but creating something that looks good and fits the body was a real challenge. Even after all these years, most contemporary zero-waste fashion is still not tailored to the body. I practised this technique for years to master it. It required breaking all the rules of conventional pattern-making and creating new techniques based on advanced mathematics. These were exciting times. Our fabrics were organic, we made everything locally and ensured everyone was paid an ethical wage. The press loved our story. But problems started to emerge when it came to sales. We had to sell more expensive garments, using a smaller range of fabrics – our materials and labour costs were higher than those of companies that produced overseas. Often fashion buyers would say they loved what we did, but after looking at the price tag would politely take their business elsewhere. As a sustainable fashion designer, my impact was limited. It was also impossible to teach zero-waste fashion design without explaining how advanced mathematics applied to it. It was time to try a new approach, so I decided to apply science and maths to traditional fashion techniques. My PhD research explored the underlying geometry of fashion pattern-making. Combining fashion with science allowed the traditional techniques and artistry of making garments to be explained and communicated to scientist and engineers. In the meantime, fast fashion companies rapidly expanded, with Zara, Topshop and H&M reaching Australia by 2011. They produced massive amounts of cheap products making low margins on each garment. Consumers quickly became addicted to the instant gratification of this retail experience. The size and scale of their production produced hundreds of tonnes of garments every day. The limits of fashion technology Fast fashion companies such as H&M have developed recycling initiatives in which consumers can exchange old clothing for discount vouchers. This is supposed to prevent clothing from going to landfill, instead recycling it into new clothing. However, there are those who are sceptical of H&M’s recycling process. In 2016, investigative journalist Lucy Siegle crunched the numbers and concluded that “it appears it would take 12 years for H&M to use up 1,000 tons of fashion waste”. This, she said, was the amount of clothing they produce in about 48 hours. A 2016 H&M sustainability report reveals that only 0.7% of their clothes are actually made from recycled or other sustainably-sourced materials. In the report, H&M acknowledges : Today, this is not possible because the technology for recycling is limited. For this reason, the share of recycled materials in our products is still relatively small. In fact, their 2016 annual report states that more research is needed: if a greater proportion of recycled fibres is to be added to the garments without compromising quality, and also to be able to separate fibres contained in mixed materials. Sustainable technologies strive for a “circular economy”, in which materials can be infinitely recycled. Yet this technology is only in its infancy and needs much more research funding. H&M’s Global Change Award funds five start-up companies with a total of 1 million Euros for new solutions. Contrast this with the millions required by the most basic Silicon Valley start-ups or billions for major green technology companies such as Tesla or SolarCity. There is a dire need for disruptive new fashion technology. Many of the promising new technologies require getting bacteria or fungi to grow or biodegrade the fabrics for us – this is a shift to researching the fundamental technologies behind fashion items. For example, it takes 2700L of water and over 120 days to grow enough cotton to make a T-shirt. However, in nature, bacteria such as “acetobacter xylinum” can grow a sheet of cellulose in hours. Clothing grown from bacteria has been pioneered by Dr Suzanne Lee. If a breakthrough can be made so that commercially grown cotton can be grown from bacteria, it may be possible to replace cotton fields with more efficient bacteria vats. But why just stick with cotton? Fabrics can be generated from milk, seaweed, crab shells, banana waste or coconut waste. Companies such as Ecovate can feed fabric fibres to mushroom spore called mycelium to create bioplastics or biodegradable packaging for companies such as Dell. Adidas has 3D printed a biodegradable shoe from spider silk developed by AM silk. Although I began my journey as a fashion designer, a new generation of materials and technologies has pulled me from the catwalk into the science lab. To address these complex issues, collaboration between designers, scientist, engineers and business people has become essential. To clean up the past and address the waste problems of the future, further investment in fashion technology is urgently needed. Mark Liu’s podcast interview for the ABC’s War on Waste series will be published on the ABC online tomorrow. Mark Liu, Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Fashion and Textiles Designer, University of Technology Sydney This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
The rise of fast fashion in Australia means 6000 kg of clothing is dumped in landfill every 10 minutes. The ABC’s War On Waste visualised this statistic by piling a giant mound of clothing waste in the middle of the city. So what to do about it? Sustainable fashion experts advocate abstaining from buying fast fashion, promoting clothing swaps and repairing old clothing. Others suggest buying organic and ethically-sourced clothes or designing clothing using zero waste techniques. The hope is that greater transparency in supply chains will lead to an end to sweatshops and unsustainable fashion practices. These are admirable initiatives, but they only reduce wastage or delay garments from ending up in landfill. They do not address the fact that the scale of fast fashion is so massive it can easily eclipse other sustainability initiatives. Nor do they address the wastefulness of existing technologies and the urgent need to research new ones. Even if we could magically stop the global production of all garments, we would still need new, green technology to clean up the waste we have already created. There are long-term strategies for green technologies such as electric cars, but where are the major companies and research institutes developing the next generation of sustainable fashion technologies? The development of new synthetic biology technologies may be the key. From catwalk to research I would like to share my journey from zero waste fashion design pioneer to trans-disciplinary fashion researcher to highlight the challenges faced by sustainable fashion and the need for more research. Ten years ago, I presented my “Zero-Waste” Fashion collection at London Fashion Week. I and other sustainable designers at the time took the waste streams of other industries such as scrap materials and leftover fabric and created our collections from them. I was selected for “Estethica”, a new initiative created by sustainable fashion gurus Orsola De Castro, Filippo Ricci and Anna Orsini from the British Fashion Council. Sustainable fashion was shown on London catwalks next to luxury fashion – a revolutionary step for the time. I pioneered a way of creating tailored, high fashion garments so that all the pieces of a garment fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle and no waste was created. Conventional pattern cutting creates about 15% wastage of material, even if the pattern has been optimised by a computer. I wanted to systemically change the way clothing was made. To design a garment with zero waste requires new patternmaking techniques, based on advanced mathematics. But the problem with zero-waste design is that it is very difficult to create. It requires a skilled designer to simultaneously imagine the garment as a 3D item and a flat pattern, while trying to fit the pieces together like a jigsaw. It is easy to make an unfitted or baggy garment, but creating something that looks good and fits the body was a real challenge. Even after all these years, most contemporary zero-waste fashion is still not tailored to the body. I practised this technique for years to master it. It required breaking all the rules of conventional pattern-making and creating new techniques based on advanced mathematics. These were exciting times. Our fabrics were organic, we made everything locally and ensured everyone was paid an ethical wage. The press loved our story. But problems started to emerge when it came to sales. We had to sell more expensive garments, using a smaller range of fabrics – our materials and labour costs were higher than those of companies that produced overseas. Often fashion buyers would say they loved what we did, but after looking at the price tag would politely take their business elsewhere. As a sustainable fashion designer, my impact was limited. It was also impossible to teach zero-waste fashion design without explaining how advanced mathematics applied to it. It was time to try a new approach, so I decided to apply science and maths to traditional fashion techniques. My PhD research explored the underlying geometry of fashion pattern-making. Combining fashion with science allowed the traditional techniques and artistry of making garments to be explained and communicated to scientist and engineers. In the meantime, fast fashion companies rapidly expanded, with Zara, Topshop and H&M reaching Australia by 2011. They produced massive amounts of cheap products making low margins on each garment. Consumers quickly became addicted to the instant gratification of this retail experience. The size and scale of their production produced hundreds of tonnes of garments every day. The limits of fashion technology Fast fashion companies such as H&M have developed recycling initiatives in which consumers can exchange old clothing for discount vouchers. This is supposed to prevent clothing from going to landfill, instead recycling it into new clothing. However, there are those who are sceptical of H&M’s recycling process. In 2016, investigative journalist Lucy Siegle crunched the numbers and concluded that “it appears it would take 12 years for H&M to use up 1,000 tons of fashion waste”. This, she said, was the amount of clothing they produce in about 48 hours. A 2016 H&M sustainability report reveals that only 0.7% of their clothes are actually made from recycled or other sustainably-sourced materials. In the report, H&M acknowledges : Today, this is not possible because the technology for recycling is limited. For this reason, the share of recycled materials in our products is still relatively small. In fact, their 2016 annual report states that more research is needed: if a greater proportion of recycled fibres is to be added to the garments without compromising quality, and also to be able to separate fibres contained in mixed materials. Sustainable technologies strive for a “circular economy”, in which materials can be infinitely recycled. Yet this technology is only in its infancy and needs much more research funding. H&M’s Global Change Award funds five start-up companies with a total of 1 million Euros for new solutions. Contrast this with the millions required by the most basic Silicon Valley start-ups or billions for major green technology companies such as Tesla or SolarCity. There is a dire need for disruptive new fashion technology. Many of the promising new technologies require getting bacteria or fungi to grow or biodegrade the fabrics for us – this is a shift to researching the fundamental technologies behind fashion items. For example, it takes 2700L of water and over 120 days to grow enough cotton to make a T-shirt. However, in nature, bacteria such as “acetobacter xylinum” can grow a sheet of cellulose in hours. Clothing grown from bacteria has been pioneered by Dr Suzanne Lee. If a breakthrough can be made so that commercially grown cotton can be grown from bacteria, it may be possible to replace cotton fields with more efficient bacteria vats. But why just stick with cotton? Fabrics can be generated from milk, seaweed, crab shells, banana waste or coconut waste. Companies such as Ecovate can feed fabric fibres to mushroom spore called mycelium to create bioplastics or biodegradable packaging for companies such as Dell. Adidas has 3D printed a biodegradable shoe from spider silk developed by AM silk. Although I began my journey as a fashion designer, a new generation of materials and technologies has pulled me from the catwalk into the science lab. To address these complex issues, collaboration between designers, scientist, engineers and business people has become essential. To clean up the past and address the waste problems of the future, further investment in fashion technology is urgently needed. Mark Liu’s podcast interview for the ABC’s War on Waste series will be published on the ABC online tomorrow. Mark Liu, Chancellors Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Fashion and Textiles Designer, University of Technology Sydney This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
#Waste less. The #fashion industry must spend more on research.
#Waste less. The #fashion industry must spend more on research.
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