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On the 29th of March I gave my very first TED talk at TEDxRotterdam, about rethinking the way we colour our clothes.
RAISING THE BAR
TEDxRotterdam 2019 was centered around the theme "Raising the Bar". It is in people’s nature to do better and to be better than before. If you look at a city as vibrant and colourful as Rotterdam, raising the bar is something we try to incorporate in our day to day actions.

Being better, trying to improve, not to impress someone else, but an internal challenge to make you look within. Within yourself, your company, community and city and always try to elevate your thought and ideas.

This TEDxRotterdam featured speakers that have risen to the occasion and have shown above and beyond, that raising their bar, is a foundation for the most wonderful ideas worth spreading.

 SPEAKING IN PUBLIC
I was asked to participate as a speaker by one of the curators. She was fascinated by Kukka's biodesign project Living Colour she saw at Dutch Design Week and she liked me to tell my story. If she had asked 3 years ago, I would've said no straight away because back then, speaking in public, was one of my biggest nightmares. The first time I spoke in public as a professional in 2017, I almost didn't sleep for 2 weeks straight and I was about to cry just before I had to give the presentation. So back then it was very stressful to say the least.

But after this first presentation went relatively well, I gained some confidence. The reactions from the audience were great and I also noticed that I really liked talking about biodesign and my projects. And so I got asked to give a talk again... and again... and in January of this year I even went to Neonyt Berlin to talk about waterconscious fashion at Embassy Lab and in February I took part in a panel discussion at Avantex Paris about biotech textiles.

But giving a TED talk really felt like I had to step up my game. I mean, I watched a lot of inspiring TED talks before and most of the speakers looked like they were born to stand in front of a crowd and have people hanging on their lips. I however, WAS NOT! But then I thought perhaps I can become one of those people. I hardly ever run from a challenge, and of course it is quite flattering to be asked to share your expertise and inspire people.

So I took on the challenge. And together with the curator I decided to do it a little different and give a duo talk. Since the Living Colour project started from a collaboration with Ilfa. We worked with a coach on structuring our talk, intonation and posture and after weeks of prepping, we finally gave out talk.

Me (left) with our coach Mariana (middle) and Ilfa (right)

RETHINKING THE WAY WE COLOUR CLOTHES
Clothes contain small amounts of leftover chemicals that come from pesticides for growing cotton for example but also from dyeing. Our skin, our largest organ, absorbs these chemicals on a daily basis. Of course these amounts are tested as safe, but we all have heard about clothing recalls because the amount of toxic chemicals in them is too high. On top of that these chemicals cause the fashion industry to be one of the most polluting industries in the world; 20% of all freshwater pollution comes from textile dyeing and finishing. So is there an alternative to the way we dye clothes? Watch the TED talk and find out.


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Kukka is proud to showcase at Dutch Design Week! We take part in two exhibitions with our biodesign project Living Colour.

EXHIBITION 1: WORK IN PROGRESS
Work in Progress shows the current state of practice-based design research: from exploratory research to prototypes and upcoming market introductions. The theme this year is "Applied Design Research as a Catalyst of Change". Design professorships from Dutch universities of applied sciences show their most innovative research projects here.  

Be amazed by the latest bio-based products: from textile dyed with bacteria to façade cladding that imitates a polar bear. Experience the look and feel of a jute cafe table and a recycled denim wall. Step on the innovative Robo stairs, which combine the benefits of a lift and a staircase. And see what comes out of the 3D printer: a drone, flexible fashion textiles – to a ‘tiny house’ of concrete. 

THE FUTURE OF LIVING MATERIALS
In several subprojects of The Future of Living Materials, designers examine the possibilities of living materials that contribute to a sustainable and circular fashion industry in collaboration with ArtEZ Future Makers and Wageningen University & Research.

We will show our biodesign research project Living Colour here. In this project we investigate a new and natural way to dye textiles with bacteria that produce pigment. We want to offer a sustainable alternative to toxic synthetic textile dyes made from petrochemicals. Pollution from fashion production and in particular the textile dyeing process is a big problem. The colouring, bleaching and treatment of textiles causes 20 percent of all freshwater pollution in the world.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS OF LIVING COLOUR
After the material research we displayed at State of Fashion, we've worked with other designers and companies that have developed their own sustainable innovative material to test whether our dyeing process is suitable for dyeing these materials. We dyed mycelium MycoTex by NEFFA, Pyratex Health fabric by Pyrates Smart Fabrics, plant root textile by Diana Scherer and felt from non-industrial wool by Beatrice Waanders. We show these new developments during Dutch Design Week. Come and see these exciting new developments!

Materials by NEFFA, Pyratex, Diana Scherer and Beatrice Waanders

EXHIBITION
Sat 20 October - Sunday 28 October in Klokgebouw | Hall 2 by Network Applied Design Research (NADR)

Kukka's biodesign project Living Colour at Klokgebouw during Dutch Design Week 2018

EXHIBITION 2: FASHION? FUTURE DESIGN FOR THE PRESENT
Fashion pretends to be a field of innovation and the new, but the materials and production methods have hardly developed since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. Fashion and clothing could be so much more; it is the piece of technology we keep closest to our skin, and with which we have the most intimate relationship.

Fashion? Future Design for the Present - curated by Marina Toeters - explores and opens a vista of possibilities through a range of innovative projects from different designers and researchers from the Netherlands and abroad, some very experimental, some ready for sale and home use. From new sustainable ways of thinking and designing, innovative production solutions and integrated technology that can improve the way garments behave, feel and treat your body.

At this exhibition we show our expanded colour palette created by bacteria.

Living Colour textiles, dyed with bacteria

EXHIBITION
Sat 20 October - Sunday 28 October in Campina Melkontvangst






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We showcased at London Design Festival! Kukka took part in the exhibition Colour Via at Surface Matter; an explorative exhibition which showcases innovative approaches to colouring materials in a post-industrial world.
COLOUR VIA
In an exciting collaboration between Surface Matter - a leading authority on material innovation and application - and Colour of Saying - a London-based consultancy specialising in experiential colour and materials design - Colour Via opens up discussion around new opportunities and directions for sustainable design and will be a space to experience new colour processes as they emerge.


“Everything on display either limits waste or has a sensitive approach to colour production” explains Laura Perryman, Founder of Colour of Saying and curator of Colour Via


The act of transferring colour in or on materials dramatically changes the appearance and value in so many ways but more often than not many have toxic waste implications. A new shift sees a breed of designers and manufacturers not just superfluously adding colour, but considering more innovative circular approaches and conscientious applications.

As part of the display, a variety objects, swatches and test samples demonstrate colour in or on materials, that either limit waste in some way and or have a sensitive approach to production techniques, challenging current industrial colour mass manufacture methods.

Colour Via exhibition at Surface Matter London
THE EXHIBITION FEATURES:
Jessica den Hartdog, Charlotte Kidger, Agne Kucerenkaite, Liga Studio, Living Colour by Kukka & Ilfa Siebenhaar, Llot Llov, Martens & Visser, Mirrl. Every exhibit has been selected by Perryman for its illustration of a significant shift in how we think about, apply and create colour and will highlight one or more of the exhibition’s sub-themes:

  • Reductionism
  • Responsible Acts
  • Control & Coincidence
  • Embracing the Future
 LIVING COLOUR
Kukka's biodesign project Living Colour is part of Embracing the Future, the final sub-theme. This theme presents the case for an holistic approach to colouration that integrates biology and technology. In a compelling model for sustainable materiality, Living Colour uses live bacteria and cymatic (sound) frequencies to create colour without chemicals and with very little water. Visitors to Colour Via will be able to see and feel some our samples of coloured silks.

Kukka's project Living Colour at the Colour Via exhibition

LOCATION
Surface Matter
29 Westgate Street
London E8 3RL

15 - 28 September 2018

Mon - Fri 9:30h - 17:30h
Sat - Sun 10:00h - 16:00h
Late night opening 17th & 19th 18:00h - 21:00h

For more information about Colour Via and the participating designers visit the London Design Festival website.



UPDATE: TREND REPORT
Design Insider created a trend report which captures what they felt were the most inspiring ideas. And Colour Via was one of the editor's picks. Download the full London Design Festival trend report here.

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On the occasion of the centennial celebrations of Wageningen University and Research (WUR) we were commissioned to design a piece for the circular ensemble of WUR’s chairman Louise O. Fresco.

Louise O. Fresco during her speech

Yesterday was the opening of the academic year. Louise Fresco gave the openings speech where she looked back on the 100 years of Wageningen University but with emphasis on the future. Instead of buying a new outfit for this special occasion, Louise wanted to wear an outfit she could wear without guilt. That’s why we and other Dutch designers were invited to create a piece of sustainable clothing for her.

Our silk scarf dyed with bacteria
THE SCARF
As part of the Living Colour project I work on together with Ilfa, we have recently found a way to dye larger pieces of fabric in a uniform, all-over manner with pigment-producing bacteria. We dyed the scarf in a beautiful colour lavender. The colour was created by mixing pink and purple bacterial pigment. We used ahimsa peace silk for the scarf, meaning that the silkworms are not killed in the process of spinning the yarn, in contrast to regular silk where the cocoons are boiled with the silkworm still in them, so they can develop to become butterflies. The silk is ecologically cultivated as well. 

The scarf really complimented the outfit. Louise described wearing the scarf as “the scarf gives you wings”. Which is also a nice reference to the wings the silkworms grow eventually.

Louise O. Fresco and Mark Rutte with us in the background
POCKET SQUARE
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was also present at the opening of the academic year. After his speech Louise guided him to our exhibition to show him how and who made this outfit. We were happy to hand him the first pocket square we made dyed by bacteria. He was very surprised and enthousiastic! And we were quite honoured to present him some of our work.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte with our pocket square

THE DRESS
The dress for Louise is designed by Elsien Gringhuis. She is known for her timeless designs, which are produced in The Netherlands. The dress is made of deadstock silk and designed with sewing patterns where a minimal amount of fabric is wasted. The dress also didn’t have buttons or zippers.
Aliki van der Kruijs created the print for the fabric, by painting the silk with residual ink from the digital textile printing industry. Aliki saw those ink residues on the side of the textile printer; a beautiful dark colour purple. This leftover ink is normally processed as chemical waste, but Aliki found a way to reuse this residual flow and reduce the footprint of the industry.

THE SHOES
Designer Luc Aarts made gold-coloured pineapple leather shoes. Piñatex, as the new material is called, is made from the leaves of pineapples. This by-product of pineapple cultivation is a natural and 100% biodegradable alternative to leather. The gold coating however is not sustainable yet. At the final fitting the shoes turned out to be too loose. “We had unfortunately measured her feet on a hot summer day”, says Luc. That and because of the ungiving characteristics of the material the shoes ended up too big in the end.” As an alternative, they decided to ornate a pair of Fresco’s own shoes with a gold detailed heel of Piñatex.

THE WATCH
The last durable detail is the watch strap from a vegan leather alternative designed by Iris Houthoff, lecturer in Bio Process Engineering at WUR and founder of start-up Mylium. The strap is made from mushroom mycelium, a fungus derived from the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom. In Asia, that mushroom is used to extract a bitter medicinal tea. Houthoff: ‘Mycelium grows on residual flows, hardly consumes water and is treated with harmless chemicals.’
THE MAKING OF
Watch the video of the behind the scenes making of the circular outfit for Louise Fresco.

Creating a circular outfit for Louise Fresco - YouTube

 

The outfit was commissioned by:


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A week ago the new exhibition State of Fashion; Searching for the New Luxury opened in Arnhem. The exhibition and accompanying events are entirely dedicated to a more sustainable and fair fashion system. State of Fashion is the successor to Arnhem Fashion Biennial. I'm very happy to be part of it with my work Living Colour!


The fashion and textile industry belongs to the most polluting industries of our planet. The fashion and apparel system is outdated, still operating to a 20th-century model built on exploitation of people and earth's resources, celebrating individualism, glamour and the 'star designer'. There's a continuous race to produce at even lower costs and implement more rapid life cycles, presenting disastrous consequences for society and the environment. This has to change.

  
How can the imaginative, seductive and innovative power of fashion play a role in making the fashion system more resilient? 


There is a need for fashion to become relevant and resilient again, and to take itself seriously, not only by producing clothes in a circular and socially responsible way, but also by using its power to envision a better world. Fashion should use its seductive power to redefine what beauty and luxury entail in the 21st century.

Searching for the New Luxury explores new definitions of luxury in response to urgent environmental and social issues: less waste and pollution, more equality, welfare and inclusiveness. 


The exhibition is built around these 8 keywords in an old industrial building, the Milkfactory in Arnhem. The large factory hall is divided into 5 main exhibition spaces. Large-scale fashion houses and designers such as G-Star RAW, H&M and Zegna will present their vision on a sustainable future alongside innovative start-ups and designers such as Bruno Pieters, Osklen, Viktor & Rolf and Iris van Herpen.

THE FUTURE OF LIVING MATERIALS
The exhibition also creates a platform for the interdisciplinary project The Future of Living Materials set up by ArtEZ Future Makers with Wageningen University & Research (WUR). The project investigates and develops new ‘living’ materials (e.g. bio-based materials, textiles from micro-organisms, etc.) for the transition to a sustainable fashion system and a circular society. Kukka is invited to participate in this research project which is very exciting since it's not always easy for designers to connect with scientists.

State of Fashion LAB section at Milkfactory Arnhem


In order to achieve a form of ‘aesthetic sustainability', the sub-project Living Colours I am working on focuses on the circular life of colour, and specifically: the possibilities of a new colour palette development by biodesign (e.g. colour of bacteria). So far we've collaborated with professors, post-doc and master students from WUR to research optimum growth conditions for our bacteria, ways to create patterns on textile and possibilities of up scaling our biodyeing process. It’s great to see that after sharing our story, more people are eager to get on board.

We present the results of our new materials research & process in the section at State of Fashion (STOF) LAB. For this new research we tested our bacterial dyeing process on many different materials, like wool, viscose, Tencel and polyester.

Living Colours by Kukka presented at State of Fashion

CATALOGUESee the entire catalogue of the State of Fashion exhibition 2018 here, with our project on pages 206-209.


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The Textile Committee organized a symposium on the use of natural dyes in dyeing textiles on November 9th at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands in Amersfoort. Natural dyes like yellow wish and red madder, cochineal lice, indigo, braziel wood and campeachy wood, or lichens, fungi and bacteria were discussed. Special attention was given to new developments, paint recipes, discolouration and socio-historical contexts.


BACTERIAL DYESI was invited by Ista Boszhard of TextileLab Amsterdam to co-host a talk about bacterial dyes. In a completely sold-out room we spoke about dyeing with bacteria and I in particular spoke about the effect that sound vibrations have on the production of colour by the bacteria.


Kim van Savooyen, a colour expert, introduced those in the multifaceted world of colour, emotions, appreciations and repulsion, contrasts and shades. The excellent chairman of the day, Agnes Brokerhof, then had time to make the audience into test subjects for her research into acceptance of discolouration.

Maarten van Bommel, professor at the UvA, complemented the first lecture with the explanation of the research into the parameters in historical paint recipes. Cochineal played a central role in the fascinating lecture by Ana Serrano, researcher at UvA, about colours from the New World, in particular the assimilation of American dyes in 16th and 17th century European textile centers.

Casper de Groot, linguist, defended the proposition that there is a direct link between the dyeing of textiles and the arrival of colour names in language. After red, yellow and green, Art Ness Proaño Gaibor, researcher RCE, gave a sparkling talk about purple and the rescue of the lichens with the invention of the first synthetic dye mauvein.

After a well-deserved lunch, the participants returned to the room for the rich afternoon programme. Linda Hanssen, ethnographic textile expert, took the company to the breathtaking Japanese island group Okinawa, famous for the use of tree barking in weaving and painting techniques. Chrystel Brandenburgh, textile archaeologist Leiden, gave a beautiful illustration of colour in the early Middle Ages.

Visual artist Nan Groot Antink gave her particularly inspiring story about the collection of dyes she has built up in over 25 years and its applications. The question of whether and how red dye in textiles can be reduced around 1900 was raised with verve by textile restorer Marijke de Bruijne.

During the closing drinks we talked extensively about the beautiful program and the very informative day.
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Last week I took part in the Night of Art and Science in Leiden. During this yearly event the old city center of Leiden is turned into a cabinet of curiosities, where young & old meet to explore art and science.


MICROBES WORKSHOPFor one night we turned the restaurant of L.V.V.S. Augustinus into a gallery and workshop. We showcased our project Living Colour and organised a free workshop that visitors could take part in. In the workshop we tried to make the invisible world visible, by letting visitors make imprints of their hand and fingers in petri dishes. Almost 100 people participated in the workshop!


RESULTSThe microbes had to grow and multiply for about 3 days. Then the first results were visible. Here are some of the most striking results. These microbes are a mix of bacteria, yeast and moulds. And as you can see some of the microbes are pigmented in yellow and red. These could possibly be used to colour textiles.


Most of the microbes naturally occur on our skin. Around 30 species of fungi and 150 species of bacteria live on our hands. Our microbes composition is unique to each individual, just like a fingerprint. There are ten times more microbes in our body than there are human cells. Together, they make up about 1.5 kilograms of our total body weight. 99% of these microbes keep us healthy!


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I'm so proud to announce that Kukka's project Living Colour is part of the exhibition EARTH MATTERS in Textile Museum Tilburg. The exhibition is curated by world renowned trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort & Philip Fimmano. 



‘Earth Matters’ refers to the worldwide development regarding sustainability and respect for earth’s resources. In the world of design, science and business, these aspects are of great importance. By using four themes, ‘Honouring Origins’, ‘Collecting Ingredients’, ‘Reinventing Materials’ and ‘Sustaining Production’, the exhibition EARTH MATTERS, gives the visitor a better understanding of a sustainable cycle and the importance of material studies.

The exhibition shows experiments - from fashion to design - that contribute to a sustainable making process, either on a small or a large scale. All projects encourage people to think about the source of materials and the creation process, not only through innovation, but even more by the re-evaluation of crafts and locally produced products.


LIVING COLOURLiving Colour is part of the exhibition’s theme ‘Reinventing Materials’. The exhibition displays two large photos of our material experiments along with the petridishes with our sound experiments.

Kukka's project Living Colour in Textile Museum Tilburg (left)
ABOUT THE CURATORSLidewij Edelkoort is one of the world’s most renowned trend forecasters; she is also a curator, publisher and educator. Along with co-curator Philip Fimmano, Edelkoort Exhibitions creates dynamic design exhibitions for international museums and institutions.
EXHIBITING DESIGNERS & ARTISTSAnanas Anam (ES), Marjan Van Aubel (NL), Alix Bizet (FR), Bolt Threads (US), Fernando & Humberto, Campana (BR), Nacho Carbonell (ES), Dosa (US), Piet Hein Eek (NL), Kiki Van Eijk (NL), Fisher Found (US), India Flint (AU), Formafantasma (IT), Friends Of Light (US), Nina Gautier (CH), Golden Joinery (NL), Aly De Groot (AU), Nienke Hoogvliet (NL), Marléne Huissoud (NL), Interface (US), Markus Kayser (DE), Dirk Vander Kooij (NL), Tomáš Gabzdil Libertíny (SK), Julia Lohmann (DE), Anke Louwers (NL), Laura Luchtman & Ilfa Siebenhaar (NL), Christien Meindertsma (NL), Sanne Muiser (NL), Tamara Orjola (LV), Sarmīte Poļakova (LV), Provenance (US), Diana Scherer (NL), Thomas Straub (DE), Salem Van Der Swaagh (DE), Suzanne Tick (US), Thomas Vailly & Laura Lynn Jansen (NL), Sanne Visser (NL), Birgitta De Vos (NL), Lynette, Wallworth & Anonhi (GB), Jolan Van Der Wiel (NL), The Willow Group (IS), Floris Wubben (NL)
EXHIBITIONThe exhibition runs from 10 June – 26 November 2017, in TextileMuseum Tilburg, The Netherlands. Along with the exhibition comes a visually-rich and inspiring 136-page colour publication with texts and essays by the exhibition’s contributors and curators.


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Yesterday I gave two short circular textile printing workshops at the DWGWD festival, a Dutch sustainability festival for everyone who wants to take action to reduce climate change. The festival took place at BlueCity, the circular hub in Rotterdam. In this workshop - which I hosted together with my Living Colour partner-in-design Ilfa Siebenhaar - we taught participants how to dye and print fabrics and paper with natural pigments from waste streams.

TATAKI-ZOMÉ FROM WASTE STREAMS
Tataki-Zomé (たたき染め) is a traditonal Japanese method of transferring leaves and flowers onto fabric or paper. It is a form of nature printing, but instead of using inks or paints, tataki-zomé uses the colours of the plant itself. In English this technique is often called "flower pounding".


First the flowers or flower petals, leaves and stems are arranged on top of the surface that is going to be printed, either fabric or (watercolour)paper. Next the flowers are covered by a paper towel or wax paper. Then the flowers and leaves are hammered, so the juices and colours are pressed into the surface. It's also possible to create a mirrored pattern by folding the paper or fabric over the flowers, instead of covering them with a paper towel. This creates beautiful imprints of the colours and shapes. Depending on the type and colour of flower or leaf, the result is either very accurate or abstract.





We gathered the flowers over the course of 2 weeks from the market and florists who could not sell these anymore, because the flowers wilted or they had snapped at the stems. The cotton I sourced was either end of roll or had stains from water damage, which I was able to wash out.

NATURAL COLOUR MANIPULATIONWe also demonstrated how to make a textile dye bath of vegetable leftovers: onion skins, beet peels, red cabbage and avocado peels & stones. We took red cabbage to show how to manipulate the colour by changing the pH value. The purple red cabbage dye changed to red or pink when we added vinegar and to blue or green when we added baking soda. The participants could give their printed fabrics a dip-dye in the red cabbage dye bath and then experiment with changing the colour.

Colour manipulation with red cabbage


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January means fashion and textile trade fair month. The 8th Future Fabrics Expo in London presented the latest developments in sustainable fashion textiles. I had the pleasure of exhibiting Living Colour's bacterial dyed textiles in the Innovation Hub. The week before I talked about water conscious fashion at Neonyt Fashion Fair in Berlin. Besides my own work I spotted lots of other inspirational innovations that I will share with you here.


1. NATURAL DYES
99% of all industrial textile dyes are synthetic and toxic. That's why natural dyes are reappearing once again. Growing crops for natural dyes on a large industrial scale would probably impose the same problems that the cultivation of regular cotton does (water shortage, seasonal influences, insecticides and pesticides, soil exhaustion to name a few). That's why the new natural dyers use waste streams or artisanal methods. Or you could grow dyes in a lab, like we do with Living Colour.

Food Textile
FOOD TEXTILEJapanese textile enterprise Toyoshima & Co. Ltd turns food residue that otherwise would have been disposed, into natural dyes for fabrics; Food Textile. The company collaborates with several food and beverage companies throughout Japan to collect the food waste and turn it into beautifully dyed fabrics. The colour palette is made by using coffee, red cabbage, lettuce, blue mallow, rooibos, echinacea and blueberries.

Food Textile colour chart

FIBRE BIO
Fibre Bio is a French supplier of organic and natural fabrics and products dyed with plants in India. Fibre Bio wants to revive the original methodology and the work of artisans and dyers in order to provide consumers and professionals with easy access to ecological fabrics and products with many benefits to our planet and for our health.


The natural dyeing demo by Fibre Bio at Neonyt

2. ORGANIC TEXTILE FINISHINGTextile dyeing and finishing are the most hazardous steps in the garment production process. They account for 20% of all freshwater pollution worldwide. These steps are mainly overlooked by the public when we're talking about sustainable fashion.
BEYOND SURFACE TECHNOLOGIES
Swiss company Beyond Surface Technologies' mission is to create textile chemicals with the lowest possible environmental impact, causing no unnecessary harm and do not compromise on performance. The company has developed biobased softening, moisture wicking and water resisting technologies that are all GOTS certified.

3. VEGAN, ORGANIC LEATHER
Vegan leather is often sold as "cruelty free leather". But fact of the matter is that producing these synthetic leathers is a highly chemical and toxic process that affects factory workers and the environment. Most faux leathers consist of a knitted polyester base with a PVC or polyurethane (PU) coating. But change is coming in the form of tree bark, seaweed, kombucha and mycelium for example.

BELEAF
Brazilian company Nova Kaeru creates exotic sustainable bioleathers. They use the leftover skin from the pirarucu fish to make organic leathers for example. But the newest addition is made of giant leaves. The leaves are collected in sustainable areas and planted together with reforestation farms - all neighboring the Nova Kaeru company. The amazing vegan material has characteristics similar to leather, it breathes, and it smells like a walk in the forest.



BeLEAF


4. RECYCLED FABRICS
It is estimated that we have produced enough clothes to last us a lifetime if we would recycle them. But easily recycling clothes has yet to be developed. Recycled polyester comes from recycling PET bottles or fishing nets for example, not from recycling polyester clothes. And recycling coloured polyester is especially hard because the synthetic dyes (of which there are more than 4000 different kinds) used to colour the material all have different melt temperatures. Blended fibres, for example a blend of cotton/elastane is also very hard to recycle. On top of that the refibreing process uses a lot of chemicals to break down and uncolour the fibres in order to spin them into a new yarn and dye them in a new colour. But there are some innovations on the way.

THE LOOP BY HALLOTEXBarcelona based design and manufacturing company Hallotex presented The Loop, an innovative program that creates new fabrics and clothing from old, recycled apparel. With only 0.1% of all clothing currently being recycled into new fibers and garments, The Loop is an initiative to reduce the amount of clothing that finds its way into landfills and incinerators. To create the new yarn, The Loop merges the shredded fabrics with sustainable materials such as organic cotton, Tencel, recycled polyester and Refibra.

The Loop by Hallotex


PURE WASTEAnother great initiative I stumbled upon at Neonyt the week before is the Finnish company Pure Waste. Pure Waste uses cotton textile waste - leftover from the clothing manufacturing process - and recycles it into new 100% recycled textiles and clothes. They first sort the yarn by colour and then spin it into a new yarn. This allows them to produce fabrics without dyeing, without the use of fresh cotton and without harmful chemicals. One Pure Waste t-shirt saves 2700 liters of water alone!




5. LACEBecause I started out as an intimate apparel designer after I graduated I still have a soft spot for lace and delicate fabrics. Most laces for apparel are made (of a blend) of polyester, polyamide (Nylon) and elastane. So it's clear that this industry screams for more sustainable options.

THIANHAI LACETianhai Lace from Ghangzhou China develops lace using recycled polyester and polyamide along with modal, organic cotton and cupro. This vertically-integrated textile mill saves on energy and water and also have a wastewater treatment and recycling system in place.

thianhai lace: 62,8% cotton, 19,6% nylon, 17,6% rayon, Oeko Tex certification & Reach compliant, MOQ 10.000m


ORGANIC LACEOrganic Lace is made by German GOTS certified lace manufacturer Modespitze Plauen, established in 1897. The company is committed to addressing sustainability through both fibre choice and production process. They work with organic, vegan and GOTS certified materials.


organic lace: all-over guipure lace, 100% organic cotton GOTS, MOQ 1m

6. SHOES
SANTONI
circular knitted shoe uppers by Santoni

Santoni was the first socks machine manufacturer and is now a worldwide leader in the production of electronic knitting machines for seamless garments. They developed a footwear knitting machine that can make complete circular knitted uppers with different patterns and strength variation. One single machine produces all sizes of fabric, with limited and controlled wastage and can knit recycled yarns as well.

6. FABRIC SELECTION
Oshadi: 100% cotton, MOQ 50m
Veronika Persché: 70% paper yarn, 30% cotton, MOQ 1m
JJR Spin Textiles: 100% organic cotton, MOQ 120m
The Loop: left: 100% ecovero viscose, right: 73% Tencel, 24% salmon cut waste, 3% elastane
Pastels: 38% recycled polyester, 29% recycled cotton, 26% organic cotton, 1% recycled polyamide, 1% recycled acrylic, 1% recycles silk, 1% recycled linen, 1% polyamide, 1% wool, 1% acrylic
Ardalanish: 100% British wool, natural shetland, hibridean and madder root dye
The Loop: 85% Tencel, 15% recylced garments
Bysshe: organic cotton warp and hemp weft blend, natural colour, unbleached, undyed, MOQ 1m

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