Innovations in the textile and fashion industry

As Climate Change continues to be seen as the most pressing challenge in recent times, consumers are now rewarding businesses and sectors that place sustainability at the top of their agenda.  The Fashion industry is estimated to emit 1.2 billion tonnes of Carbon Dioxide, which is one of the biggest contributors, surpassing emissions from both airlines and maritime industries combined. The Textile and Fashion Industry also causes many other environmental issues such as water and land pollution due to its deep supply chain.

Some organizations have recognized this need for sustainability and are leading Innovations in the Textile Industry.  Here are some examples of how Innovations in the Textile Industry, which help cut back on the carbon footprint that the traditional routes of textile manufacturing leave on the plant.

Orange Fibres

Orange Fibre is an Italian company that has created unique sustainable fabrics from citrus fruit by-products, which are high quality fabrics for the fashion-luxury sector. The Company starts the manufacturing process from the by-products that the citrus processing industry produces annually — in which the by-product would generally be disposed of,, having a large cost for both the citrus juice industry as well as the environment. The Supply Chain is fully traced and transparent transforming the waste by-product into the perfect ingredient for conscious designers and consumers, setting a benchmark in Innovations in the Textile Industry and Sustainable Textile Innovations. The Company has recently collaborated with H & M, for their collection “Conscious Exclusive”.

A Unique Digital Passport for your Clothes

Eon Group is a company that has taken the emerging concept of “Internet of Things” and taken it to the next step, applying it to the Fashion Industry.  The Company has created a unique operating system which provides complete and correct information about a garment to manufacturers, recyclers, resellers, consumers, or anyone as smoothly as your new email notification on your phone. They have recently partnered with materials science and apparel company PANGAIA, by making a unique digital passport for the garment, which will contain information about the manufacturing of the garment. The Passports have the capacity to update in real-time about the garment’s carbon and water footprint, improving the consumer’s understanding of the impact of the garment. The Company states that it can layer on information about resale and recycling as well, moving forward on circularity. 

Sustainable Jeans – The Mikey Jean

In the space of New Textile Innovations 2021, two international champions of Innovations in the Textile Industry, Candiani Denim and Boyish Jeans have come together to create new Sustainable Textile Innovations with their product, the Mikey Jean. It has been made with Candiani’s exclusive denim fabric composed of organic cotton, Refibra™ (recycled cellulosic fibres) and its newest patented technology, COREVA™, which is 100% compostable stretch yarn. The Fabric is also dyed with the Company’s Indigo Juice® Technology and Kitotex®, a natural polymer which consumer lesser water in the production process and removes micro-plastics and conventional harmful chemicals. 

Vegan Leather

Vegan Leather is essentially leather that is derived from alternatives to animal skin leather. While vegan leather can be plant based or plastic based, plant-based leather is more eco-friendly, as plastic based products take a long time to degrade. Plant-Based Vegan Leather have been made from various raw materials such as cactus leaves, pineapples, corn, and apple peels. 

The latest in the series of Innovations in the Textile Industry by Vegea – another leader in the space of Sustainable Textile Innovations, is vegan grape leather, or “wine leather”. It is made from the by-products of the wine industry, including the skins, stalks and pips of the grapes which would be traditionally used either as a feed for animals or an organic fertilizer. The Wine Leader does not require much water to be produced and is recyclable and the tanning process does use harmful chemicals. The Leather is finding application in Sustainable Apparel and Textile Innovation, which can also be used in other spaces such as interior décor, upholstery, and car seating. Vegea has the backing of H & M Foundation, and its Wine Leather products are being featured in its 2020 ‘Conscious Collection.’

Sustainable Shoes

In 2021, H & M has also partnered up with Good News, a London based shoe manufacturer and Vegea to release its first unisex sneaker collection which has brough together Banantex, a waterproof and durable fibre obtained from banana plants and Wine Leather from Vegea. The Soles of the shoes contain recycled thermoplastic rubber soles and recycled cotton along with organic cotton and Bloom Algae EVA, which uses algae biomass to make a foam which is flexible, and plant based. 

According to a baseline survey of the technical textile industry by the Ministry of Textiles, India’s technical textiles market was estimated with an upsurge of twenty percent in 2020-2021 from US$ 16.6 billion in 2017-2018. Adoption of new methodology, technology and innovation has been seen in major fashion weeks around the globe in the last few years. In conclusion, textile manufacturers and apparel brands are constantly innovating fabrics used, finished products and processing technologies. The coming years will see a radical interplay between fashion and technology leading to cutting edge innovations. 

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