Sustainable and eco-friendly fibres remain in the minority
The textile industry is flooded with announcements about new fibre innovations/developments every other day. Fibre2Fashion spoke to few fibre brand advocates to understand what really is creating confusion amongst apparel makers as well as end-consumers when they go looking for a new fibre or product respectively.
Nowadays, we discover new brands of materials every day and, even if we consider it very positive when they can offer good solutions for a new generation of virtuous materials, this can create real confusion especially within brands, retailers and final consumers. For this reason, transparency and traceability, both at company, product and process levels, must be part of the storytelling and in this sense third party analysis and certifications become fundamental to demonstrate to consumers that what we declare is true and trustable.2
Consumers are looking for products that enable them to lead more eco-friendly lives. They want to minimise waste, their carbon footprint and reduce their use of plastic. That is why it is important to continue working on different research and development initiatives. Innovating new products and materials and scaling them up for commercial use take time.
Yes, there are more options on the market, and that requires more research and testing at all levels of the design and production process, but this abundance and choice is necessary for progress. The weaker innovations will not make it in the market and until a new development can be scaled up it will not be adopted. Sometimes it is a crisis that drives change, and we are at one of those moments in time. As an industry we have learned that change can sometimes cause new issues and it would behoove us to analyse and try to predict future impacts as much as possible.
We fully agree. What is happening in the apparel industry is similar to what we have been experiencing with cars: in the recent past each car manufacturer has been experimenting with different power supplies—from hydrogen to solar panels. Today, there is a clearer line towards electric supply. Soon the fashion industry will probably have more clarity on its ways too. Everyone is looking in different directions and for different sources in terms of materials, textures, etc.
We couldn’t agree more. Sometimesthe simplest solution is the best—in terms of both performance and sustainability. There is also an elegance to the economy of gesture. But that doesn’t mean innovation should be abandoned. We see a real opportunity for purpose-driven innovation. I think what we will witness in the post-pandemic era will be a lot more focused in what is special about each and every innovation—from textiles to insulation. There has been too much innovation for innovation’s sake leading to a lot of confusion in the marketplace.
Published on: 24/05/2021
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.