Sustainable clothing is being seen everywhere more and more often. It isn’t just the off grey tee shirt anymore in the wellness store made out of hemp, but major brands and huge corporations are actively working on reducing their carbon footprint.
This in turn is having not only the benefit of a good eco-friendly 'corporate citizen' but also eventually helps improve their bottom line.
Most of us go through some form of leather product phase, or we want to cover ourselves in luxury such as silk, but those aren't always the most sustainable products, or eco-friendly, either in the production queue or when it comes to being recycled. There are numerous initiatives that are happening to replace the common materials that we use to make clothing in the fashion industry.
One of the worst culprits in the fashion industry and sustainable living are synthetic materials, specifically polyester. There's a materials production research company that is focused on making biodegradable polyester made out of plants and basically eliminating the microplastic crisis. Another fantastic idea is to make leather-like substitutes.
Vegan leather has existed in a niche market for a while, but now there are many companies in full force to remove the need for animal hides in the clothing industry. Marie Melcore is working on a leather-like material made out of fruits and vegetables. This company and many others are working more and more to build complete replacements to traditional leather.
Blue Cycle Jeans
On the corporate fast fashion side, Uniqlo comes in again with a unique way to attack the water wasting that occurs when producing denim jeans. Instead of the insane amounts of water that can be needed to produce even one pair, Uniqlo has spent resources on research to make jeans with a ‘teacup of water’ at most.
Their focus is to look at the cause of the water waste and remove those elements such as replacing pumice stones with powderless eco stones creating an eco-friendly product. For those that want to find themselves a pair of jeans with a distressed look, Uniqlo has implemented laser technology to replace existing methods that create that look and feel.
This might reduce the amount that Uniqlo might use to make their products, but they didn't stop there. These still maintain the high-quality demands of Uniqlo but start to target the sustainable living market.
Boutique Fashion Enters Sustainability
It is great to see how there’s such a push from the private sector to start using alternative materials or discovering new methods and processes to reduce the waste at the production level. Another fantastic innovation is an Amsterdam based startup called Labfresh that only thinks of sustainability when making their eco-friendly clothing. Their clothing is built to be spill- resistant and all of their clothing is made with eco-friendly materials.
It can repel everything from wine to foodstuffs, which increase the longevity of your clothing. That shirt you buy from them can last much longer than a regular polyblend shirt. Even their initial strategy to raise funding was based on user interest and pre-purchasing of their signature clothing so that they only produced the amount needed.