Discover some of the most innovative sustainable developments from the fashion and fabrics markets.
Wear what you drink
Italian jeans brand Hand Picked has been caring for environmental issues since its earliest days (also see here). For spring/summer 2021 it has further increased its commitment by selecting more sustainable materials. Among them is Wineleather, a Made In Italy vegetal leather that is 90% made of pomace, wine production leftovers that, when added to vegetal oils obtained through mechanical working, produce a biopolymer with an aspect very similar to leather. This material can be doubled with different fabrics to produce various fashion styles.
Hand Picked jacket made with Wineleather
Protection needs no chemicals
Picture, a French snowboard, ski, surf and outdoor apparel founded in 2008, is committed to pursuing sustainable goals by developing sustainable products, through actions of social activism, by completing its new eco-friendly office building by the end of 2021 and through other more eco-friendly-minded initiatives.
Among its newest products there is a three-strata lightweight and breathable style, Demain Jacket, meant to guarantee great comfort to its wearer when playing winter sports.
The jacket uses Xpore, a new nanoporous and eco-friendly membrane, developed by BenQ, a multinational technology specialist. This material’s own pores have been obtained through a mechanical ironing system instead of using chemicals, it is PFC- and solvent-free, and made with recycled polyolefin. Xpore is highly water repellent (25K water column) and maximum breathability (20K) and carries 10 billion micropores per square inch that are 20,000 times smaller than a water drop, and 200 times bigger than a molecule of water steam.
Demian jacket by Picture
For f/w 2020, Helly Hansen has also developed two new highly protective jackets – Elevation Infinity Shell Jacket and Odin Mountain Infinity Jacket. They are made with Lifa Infinity Pro, a three strata 100% polipropilene fabric added with Lifa, Helly Hansen’s own technology that guarantees breathability and water-repellency without using chemicals. This Jacket was also awarded as the 2020 ISPO Award Gold Winner in the Snow Sport category and voted as best product for the Hardshell jacket category.
Yatay loves soccer and trees
Yatay is a young footwear brand specialized in producing sustainable sneakers made with bio-polyoils, polymers extracted from corn, wood and recycled plastic. It has recently signed a partnership within a wider CSR plan of Italian soccer team Udinese Calcio committed to follow a 360° green policy for the club.
Yatay was founded in 2018 by Umberto De Marco, president, Coronet SpA, an Italian pioneer company that produces eco-friendly materials. Yatay has also signed a partnership with Onetreeplanted, a nonprofit association involved in a global reforestation activity. For each pair of sold shoes, Yatay guarantees it will plant a tree in a deforested area.
New steps in circular economy
Italian luxury socks and hoisery brand Sarah Borghi has launched its first sustainable hosiery line made with high-tech yarn Roica by Asahi Kasei. This collection uses Amni Soul Eco, a 6.6 biodegradable polyamide that degrades itself in about five years once it is disposed of in a landfill. It was developed by Solvay and produced and distributed by Fulgar. Also, part of this hosiery selection is Roica V550 by Asahi Kasei, a stretch sustainable yarn that is certified as Gold Level Material Health Certificate by the Cradle-to-Cradle Product Innovation Institute. At the end of its lifecycle this fiber also smartly breaks itself down without releasing harmful substances in the environment according to Hohenstein Environment Compatibility Certification.
Green collection by Sarah Borghi
For f/w 2021/2022, Save The Duck, an Italian brand specialized in 100% animal-free and 100% cruelty-free outerwear, is also using an Amni Soul Eco exclusive fabric for its “We Love Nature” capsule of new sustainable jackets.
Save the Duck jacket using Amni Soul Eco fabric
New saving records
Soorty, a vertically integrated denim company from Pakistan, has partnered with Garmon, a specialist in chemical solutions for denim and fashion industry. They launched their Smart Blue project and patented technology, a new pillar of Soorty’s Smart Laundry set up that reduces the use of water and implements zero discharge of hazardous chemicals.
This concept features three key elements: chemicals are carried on to the garment via Smart Blue instead of water and saves an average of 80% of water per laundry; all the processes are conducted in room temperature with minimal steps, keeping the energy need extremely low; Chemicals are loaded up to times faster in minimally designed steps. This way it minimizes the use of natural resources and transforms sustainable garment manufacturing at scale.
Soorty jeans treated with Smart Blue technology by Garmon
According to estimates, although data may vary from wash to wash, the use of this new technology can help save yearly 146,250,000 liters of water, the equivalent that can be used to fill 58.5 Olympic sized swimming pools. It can also help to save enough energy to compensate for CO2 emissions from 121,730,016 smartphones charged, which is equal to carbon sequestered by 15,783 trees seedlings grown for 10 years.
New frontiers in labeling
Varcotex, an Italian vertically integrated label producer, has started taking some eco-friendly steps meant to take a more sustainable production path. As part of its production there are many paper labels including a selection made with “upcycling paper” that reuses materials that are not derived from the exploitation of trees. Some of them contain cotton fibers, but others also recycle agro-industrial waste such as remains of citrus, grapes, cherries, lavender, corn, olives, coffee, kiwi, nuts and almonds. Also residues from cuir and leather production are used as substitute of cellulose for cuir paper aimed at luxury packaging and labeling.
Varcotex hangtag made with 50 percent grass
Some of the most innnovative Varcotex labels include MOV eco-friendly hangtags made with about 50% grass, as alternative to classic cellulose. Grass grows spontaneously more times in the year, it is part of a short value chain as meadows and forests live steadily and CO2 emissions for producing such labels is relatively low.
Thindown partners with Sorona
Thindown, the Italian-made 100% down fabric patented by NIPI (Natural Insulation Products Inc.), is taking a new eco-friendly step–Thindown combined with partially bio-based Sorona fiber, a DuPont polymer made from 37% renewable plant-based ingredients.
Thindown & DuPont Sorona padding
The new material combines Thindown’s benefits of real down like warmth, lightness and breathability with the softness, drape and stretch recovery of Sorona fiber. Entirely produced in Italy with RDS (Responsible Down Standard) certified down, the new blended insulating fabric is available in various weights to better suit different product categories and industries.
Manteco looks ahead
Manteco, an Italian textile company specialized in producing sustainable high-quality fabrics, has recently collaborated with Fortela, Alessandro Squarzi’s own menswear brand.
Manteco was founded in 1934 as a small spinning mill and started producing sustainable yarns by regenerating old military garments and covers. With the passing of years it has become a point of reference in the fashion world, thanks to its creativity, research and textile solutions including zero-waste productive systems, sustainable design and traceable circular economy projects.
Manteca x Fortela coat
Squarzi, influencer and entrepreneur, involved Manteco as he wanted to create a fashion tribute to Sir Winston Churchill and his iconic WWII greatcoat. Together they studied a fabric that could reproduce as closely as possible the “rigid” cloth of that military garment and found the perfect recipe for a durable, exclusive and timeless fabric.
Manteco adheres to the principles of the UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and was the first textile company to apply a science-based LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) study on its luxury recycled wools. It also established Manteco System, a fully traceable and transparent network of local artisans and small companies that follow its precise supply chain commitments and high production standards.