From kelp textiles to biodegradable glitter, fashion pushes fabric to the limit.

Fashion trends urged textile companies toward more creative and sustainable practices in the last decade. The next ten years promise to yield even more innovations in the fabric world. Organic fabrics entered the mainstream and infiltrated the fashion lines of many major brands, but consumers are looking for more.

When customers call, start-ups answer. The following five companies entered the innovative fashion space and blew up the world of textile design. The creative solutions these start-ups found to the problem of sustainability in the fashion world pushed boundaries, and the results are stunning.


AlgiKnit Inc. takes the ecological damaged caused by the fashion industry very seriously. Their response? Durable yet rapidly degradable yarns. The founders of AlgiKnit took an environmental science approach to fabric. Their goal is to operate in a closed loop product lifestyle, finding creative ways to use and dispose of manufacturing materials. Because of its approach, AlgiKnit has a significantly lower environmental footprint than traditional fabrics. Their bio-based textile alternatives employ materials like algae and seaweed to create sustainable solutions for the apparel industry.


Bioglitz, the company with the first biodegradable and compostable glitter, encourages its customers to "Shine Responsibly." The founders of BioGlitz believe that you can glam-up your body without damaging the environment. Their mission isn't just to save the earth, but also to push the boundaries of acceptance of all people through their products. Most glitter is made from polyester, which is not only harmful to the environment, but arguably, for our bodies as well. Microplastics like polyester are non-degradable. BioGlitz, on the other hand, sources renewable, plant-based materials without GMO ingredients to create their responsible, compostable glitter solution.

Circular.Fashion works toward "enabling the products of today to become the resources of tomorrow." By using a digital platform and training, the startup leads others in developing innovative products and creative systems for a more circular fashion economy. As things stand, less than 1 per cent of clothing is recycled into new clothing. This is a perfect opportunity to create a regenerative system in which fabric can be used as long as possible before re-entering the fashion system through reuse or recycling. focuses on research that will help all brands transition toward more circular practices.


Hannes Parth created a whole new way to look at an apple peel. Now the CEO of Frumat, Hannes has always been interested in recycling food processing waste into something more. Fruit juice and compote companies throw out an astronomical amount of industrial waste, but thanks to Frumat, there is a constructive, lucrative business on the other side. Hannes Parth, in conjunction with his partner Alberto Volcan, discovered that the apple paste left over from producing juice could be stretched and cut into a form of apple leather. The new fabric is ecological, breathable, waterproof, and 100 per cent vegan.

Reverse Resources

Reverse resources developed a software platform that traces textile leftovers from the fabric and garment production system. The platform identifies where fabric leftovers can be found, and connects fashion brands, suppliers, traders and recyclers on a central data system so these resources can be shared. This system is a win-win for businesses, as well as the environment as a whole.

These companies are leading a bigger army of startups looking to discover new ways to think about what we wear, and how we produce textiles. The future of clothing is sure to look different, but it's also headed in a more sustainable direction.

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