In these confusing and scary times, as we deal with a pandemic, we can all use some positive news. Sustainable and ethical fashion is something we care a lot about at Noumenon and believe that we must keep working to create a more sustainable future in fashion.
Fashion industry is responsible for 8-10% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. 20% of industrial wastewater pollution worldwide originates from the industry and $500 billion of value is lost every year due to clothing underutilisation and lack of recycling. Given its size and global reach, unsustainable practices within the fashion sector have important impacts on social and environmental development indicators. Without major change to production processes and consumption patterns in fashion, the social and environmental costs of the sector will continue to mount.
Thanks to innovators and advances in technology, this doesn't have to be the norm. There are multiple innovations happening in fashion at the moment, that can contribute to effectively reducing the fashion industry's global impact. We have listed below some fascinating technologies in sustainable fashion.
1. Apple Leather
Apple pectin is an industrial waste product which can be used to create sustainable materials that are totally compostable whilst still being durable enough to create luxury accessories. The materials can be dyed naturally and tanned without chemically intensive techniques. Companies like Frumat are pioneering this innovative material that is PETA approved, great alternative to animal leather and is 100% vegan. Check out the Osier bags on Noumenon which are partially made with apple leather.
2. Orange Fiber
Did you know natural fabrics that are made with citrus by-products? OrangeFiber makes fabric by extracting the cellulose from the fibres that are discarded from the industrial pressing and processing of oranges. The fibre, through nanotechnology techniques, is enriched with citrus fruit essential oils, creating a unique and sustainable fabric. A silk-like cellulose yarn that can blend with other materials.
Regular glitter is made from polyester which is harmful for our bodies and the environment. These micro plastics NEVER degrade. BioGlitz produces the world’s first biodegradable glitter. Based on a unique biodegradable formula made from eucalyptus tree extract, the eco-glitter is fully biodegradable, compostable and allows for the sustainable consumption of glitter without the environmental damage associated with micro plastics.
4. Circular Fashion
The company circular.fashion has created a software that interconnects circular design, circular retail models and closed loop recycling technologies enables fashion brands to design circular garments. Circular clothes are attributed an identification tag that orchestrates a reverse supply chain network of consumers, sorting and recycling companies to close the loop to regenerated textiles. This links both consumers and manufacturers to help make a circular chain in fashion.
5. Kelp Fabric
Companies like Algiknit produces textile fibres extruded from kelp, a variety of seaweed. The extrusion process turns the biopolymer mixture into kelp-based thread that can be knitted or 3D printed to minimise waste. The final knitwear is biodegradable and can be dyed with natural pigments in a closed loop cycle.
As we go through these tough times together, let's remember to safeguard our earth and continue to work towards reducing waste and building a more sustainable future.