Textile Spotlight: Five Innovative Textiles Changing Sustainable Fashion
Textiles out of peacock feathers? Knotted wool? Recycled paper? Beer bottles? Fermented tea? These eco-friendly textiles are not only possible, they are building a new vision for sustainable fashion.
“Peacocking for Attention” – Feather Fabric, a hand-woven twill fabric made from naturally shed feathers of free-range peacocks, takes the concept to an entirely new level. Individual feathers are plucked from the quills one-by-one, sorted and knotted together to form a continuous thread, then woven into fabric on a non-electric jacquard loom. The process is so time consuming, only 12 inches of the velvet-like material is produced per day in rural India. Once exclusive to Buddhist temples, it is now available in limited production. Applications include haute couture accessories and upholstery. |Showroom: Material ConneXion
“Don’t stray from the Flock” – Wear your sheltering proudly with the cosy and comfortable cloth, called Flock, created from sheep wool hand-knotted on an iron frame. Made entirely from New Zealand wool, this soft and fluffy textile can be shaped into any desired three-dimensional form. Applications include fashion accessories, wall panels or room dividers as it provides excellent acoustic insulation. |Showroom: Material ConneXion
“Take another look at paper” – Brooklyn-based design lab Paper No. 9 has transformed paper into luxurious bespoke textiles. The fabric comes in custom colors, textures and effects. When sewn into products, the resulting finish ages in a leather-like way. Everything is made by hand in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. using sustainable ingredients, minimal waste and zero toxins, and without the use of stripping agents, bleach or wastewater. Applications include fashion, interior design and accessories. |Showrooms: Material ConneXion and The Sustainable Angle
“Denim with a history” – I Am Not A Virgin uses recycled beer bottles for a whole new take on denim. The beer bottles are broken down into a fine particulate, melted and extruded into a thread-like fiber, resulting in a soft, durable material that behaves like denim should. These repurposed fibers are the secret to their jeans’ signature fit. By using brown colored bottles and turning the jeans inside-out, I Am Not A Virgin is able to eliminate the need for harmful dye processes.
“Kombucha – good for the body, inside and out” – BioCouture makes fabric and vegetable leather out of fermented tea. A combination of green tea, sugar, yeast and kombucha microorganisms are left to ferment for two to three weeks, resulting in an inch-thick-sheet of cellulose on the surface of the liquid. The sheet gets skimmed off, then molded or cut like leather when dry, resulting in a sustainable, waste-free and biodegradable material. It soaks up natural dyes way more efficiently than cotton, thereby conserving energy and materials required.