Sustainable Textiles On & Off the RunwayKristin Crane
In our March trend letter, we talked all about color and design trends from the Fall 2020 Ready-To-Wear Runways. In addition to vibrant, saturated colors and oversized silhouettes, a major theme emerged about sustainable textiles and manufacturing practices. Consumers are aware of the toll fast fashion is having on the planet and, as a result, are asking designers hard questions.
- Where are your materials being sourced?
- Who is making those materials and your garments?
- How transparent is your production chain?
Sustainability means something different to each designer. This was obvious in their collections. Approaches to the issues of textile waste and pollution were as varied as their garments.
Some designers stood out in their mission.
- Issey Miyake designed garments with no seams at all, therefore requiring no sewing.
- Guy Laroche presented a minimal collection of one-of-a-kind pieces that were fashioned from vintage Laroche pieces purchased off eBay.
- Dolce & Gabbana celebrated Italian craft traditions by sending their sketches to home knitters for interpretation.
- Alabama Chanin continues to manufacture 80% of their line in the US in an unbroken chain.
- Stella McCartney offers alternatives to animal by-products by continuing her commitment to being leather, fur, and feather-free.
Sustainable textiles are also a trend off the runway.
Every industry using textiles hears the concerns of consumers and as a result, is looking for sustainable alternatives. In the world of home furnishings, digital textile printing is growing exponentially. Manufacturers see the value of holding less inventory and printing on-demand as needed. Companies such as Enviroleather are developing new materials with their environmental impact as a top priority. And American farmers are coming together to form Fibersheds across the United States to encourage a new generation of farmers and ranchers.
It is clear from designers and manufacturers that sustainable textiles will not be just another fad. Instead, it will be a trend that reshapes the way the world grows, manufactures, and consumes textiles in our every day lives.
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