Seeing as it was National Earth Day the other day, I thought I'd do my part for the world and reconsider the 'importance' of the fashion industry and the effects it has on our planet in terms of the environment. Being sustainable in fashion is proving to be a challenge in today's society. The ever-changing demands of society require the constant attention of designers in order to compete to satisfy consumers with quality, price and style. it is believed that the majority of environmental issues within the fashion industry lay in the production and manufacturing of the garments. According to the United States Energy Administration the textile industry in the U.S is the 5th largest CO2 contributor in the country. Leading the way of ethical and environmentally friendly fashion are smaller fashion brands with strong morals and innovate ideas to help promote a better world. After an afternoon of extensive research, here are some companies that are doing their part to save the world on step at at time.
Clean Cut is an Australian fashion business that raises awareness, education and support through the use of sustainable and ethical practices. Clean Cut provides the information and the necessary programmes to brands and designers on how to make informed fashion choices.
SHAPES IN THE SAND
Shapes in the Sand are an Australian Swim and Lifestyle-Wear Label that aim to create swimwear which has a minimal impact on the environment. They use the Econyl Nylon Textile Filament which is a 100% recycled fibre derived from discarded nylon fishing nets found on coastlines and in the ocean. Their products are designed to last, meaning the product life cycle is extended so fewer products will need to be bought and less will be put into landfill.
Anke Domaske is a German microbiology-student/ innovative designer of the arts, who created the 'Eco Milk Fibre'. The new milk fibre is a developed bio-polymer consisting of the milk protein casein. The casein is produced from raw milk which is no longer marketable and that should not be used as food. Qmilch absorbs colour very easily and absorbs moisture, therefore it is particularly suitable for applications in underwear, functional sports clothing, home textiles sector, but also for technical textiles. Due its natural quality it has an automatic natural UV protection.
Dyecoo is a Netherlands-based brand, founded in 2008, which is the world’s first water-free and process chemical-free dyeing machinery. The technological equipment uses reclaimed carbon dioxide (CO2) in a closed loop process, to dye synthetic only fabrics. The 180 minute process takes place in a DyeOx which pressurises the CO2 to become supercritical (a state between liquid and gas) allowing the dye to dissolve easily due to its increased solvent power. All the fabric leaves the DyeOx completely dry, meaning it is ready for immediate use; therefore reducing the time and energy used. Due to it being a closed loop process, this enables 95% of the CO2 used to be recycled and used again within the next batch of dyeing. In addition the company itself only apply 100% pure dye; consequently it has more than a 98% uptake, resulting in vibrant colours and minimal wastage produced.
MYSHAPE & FITS.ME
These are two companies that have created innovative software that allows consumers to have an improved accuracy in clothing sizes when online shopping. MyShape is a developed patented technology that matches shoppers with items that corresponds to their personal body measurements. Launched by retailer Hawes & Curtis, FitsMe is a virtual fitting room with shape-shifting 3D robotic mannequin that has the ability to mimic a consumer’s body shape so that the exact fit can be visualised before purchase. An exclusively-online German retailer Quelle has recently been using this technology has seen that their returns have decreased by 28%.