We are really pleased to announce the release of Fabric for Fashion: The Complete Guide: Natural and man-made fibres. The book was written by The Sustainable Angle’s curator Amanda Johnston and Clive Hallett, who wrote the first edition together. If you haven’t already seen it, the accompanying volume Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book is very much worth a look too, containing over 100 swatches of widely used fabrics.
The book is an essential and easily navigable reference on a seemingly unending range of fabrics, providing in-depth details of their properties, technologies, terminologies and processes. Amanda and Clive have ensured the book “examines not only the visual and tactile characteristics of various fabrics, but also encourages a deeper understanding of their potential impacts by considering the provenance of fibres, and their processing routes.” This is something that we are always aiming to do at the Future Fabrics Expo as well, as by physically experiencing a fabric whilst being provided with the relevant in-depth information about provenance and processing, we are able to more accurately judge a fabric’s sustainability credentials, whilst evaluating relevance for the desired end application.
The Sustainable Angle’s involvement did not stop there. Charlotte Turner from The Sustainable Angle was invited to contribute to the book, researching and creating an easy to use certifications reference guide to help designers understand the scope and remit of the industry’s increasingly used certification systems.
Whilst certifications are not the only way to determine the social and environmental credentials of a fabric, they can often help understand the benchmarks to which diverse materials have been produced and processed. As certifications can relate to anything from use of chemicals and fertilizers during fibre cultivation, to fair working conditions, treatment of waste-water effluent, or design for reutilization, it can be a confusing area to navigate. Take at look at the guide to find out more about some of the most commonly used social and environmental certifications (p.240-243). At The Sustainable Angle, in addition to evaluating fabrics using globally recognized certifications, we also assess fabrics against a set of environmental criteria developed with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, which can be seen here.
Amanda says the book was conceived “with the intention of providing designers with a complete guide to natural and man-made fibres. The integration of crucial practical fabric knowledge, tactile appraisal, and examples of varied creative fabric interpretations is intended as an accessible guide for students and design practitioners alike.”
Added to this, “the fibre and fabric journeys of both the natural and man-made fibre types are explored by mapping the historic, social and geographic significance of the fabrics that make up the very substance of our contemporary fashion products.” All in all, the ingredients for an invaluable textiles resource.
For those wanting something creative, the book includes hundreds of beautiful fashion and textile images, several photographed by the talented Myka Baum, whose photography of the Future Fabrics Expo you can see here and here.
You can find out more and order the book on the Laurence King website.
About the author:
As well as curating for The Sustainable Angle, Amanda has spent several years working with the London College of Fashion as an associate lecturer, and as a freelance design consultant. Clive and Amanda have worked together as consultants within the fashion industry since 1982 having collaborated on numerous projects both in the UK and abroad.
We’re really pleased to announce the launch of the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo, which has been conceived to extend the lifespan of the successful 3rd Future Fabrics Expo, through year-round online access to a curated range of sustainable fabrics and mills.
It’s due to great demand from our visitors, readers, and networks that we have developed the first trial version of the virtual expo now, to allow designers and buyers to tap into our resources as a glimpse of what is to come in Spring 2014, when we will launch the second stage of the Virtual Expo, an in-depth and advanced online Future Fabrics Virtual Expo showcasing the dozens of mills usually featured in the annual Future Fabrics Expo.
This first trial version includes six mills which represent a diverse overview of sustainable fabrics, from organic cotton denim, British wool, and sustainable silks, to Lenzing Tencel®, linen and organic cotton blends, low impact leather, European linen, and woven and knitted qualities.
The second version is intended to function as an online tool to link mills with fabrics buyers/designers efficiently, allowing constant access to sourcing and sustainability information about fabrics with a reduced environmental impact, any time, from anywhere. We will be updating the virtual expo seasonally and sharing our insights and finds from the main global textile fairs that we visit. All of this to make it even easier for you to source more sustainably.
You’ll no longer need to wait until the Future Fabrics Expo to discover new sustainable fabrics and mills, and we will be able to more effectively and continuously share the diverse range of fabrics and information that is rigorously researched throughout the year.
We will be collecting feedback about this first version of the Virtual Expo to help us build the second, which will include dozens of mills and hundreds of fabrics, with advanced search capability allowing visitors to search sustainable fabrics by terms including fibre category, environmental certifications, price, and country.
We hope you’ll check it out and leave us feedback to help improve the next version.
Please visit www.thesustainableangle.org to stay up to date with our latest news, events, and projects.
Future Fabrics Virtual Expo version two, is planned for Spring 2014.
We are pleased to share some fantastic photos of the recent 3rd Future Fabrics Expo which took place inside Fashion SVP at London Olympia Exhibition centre at the end of September. These photos were taken by photographer Evgeniy Kazannik, co-founder of GREEN LENS STUDIOS, the first sustainable photographic studio in the UK. You can see more of these photos on our website.
GREEN LENS STUDIOS recognise that as a business they cannot be 100% eco-friendly, however, they can (and do) seek to minimise their impact on the environment, without interfering with the quality of their professional service.
As well as providing their broad clientele with reasonably-priced, highly energy efficient facilities for photo shoots and art projects, they encourage creative sustainable practice beyond GLS by regularly organising exhibitions and workshops.
You can find out more and contact them on their website.
The Sustainable Angle recently welcomed hundreds of visitors from the fashion industry to the 3rd Future Fabrics Expo, held inside Fashion SVP manufacturing and sourcing fair at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, London, on 22 – 24 September 2013.
The 3rd edition of Fashion SVP was focused on near-shore manufacturing and sourcing from the European and Mediterranean region, and to reflect this the Future Fabrics Expo featured a section dedicated to British produced fabrics, as well as hundreds of European fabrics throughout the expo with a reduced environmental impact. In addition, for the first time the Future Fabrics Expo showcased a section dedicated to low impact leather and leather alternatives.
The expo was generously sponsored by mills and organisations from the textiles, retail solutions and certifications sectors: Kassim Denim, Pratibha Syntex, Swiss Organics, Avery Dennison, and GOTS, showcasing sustainability efforts across the supply chain.
We will be sharing the latest Future Fabrics Expo video and photos with you soon, and in the coming months we will be releasing a digital version of the expo, so keep in touch.
We’re pleased to welcome GOTS (Global Organics Textile Standard) as one of the Future Fabrics Expo sponsors for 2013. GOTS are an ideal organisation to be supported by, as the Future Fabrics Expo has always sought out and showcased innovative fabrics which adhere to the GOTS stringent standards.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres worldwide. It defines high level environmental criteria along the whole supply chain, as well as compliance with social criteria. More than 3000 companies globally are certified by GOTS.
GOTS develops, implements and promotes a voluntary organic standard that requires social and environmental responsibility at every step of the textile supply chain post-harvest of the cotton on the farm, through manufacture to labelling.
GOTS is not only about cotton, although that is the most important fibre globally, we see it as essential to have standards for other fibres too – organic wool, linen and other fibres can all contribute to a more sustainable organic textile sector, and wool is particularly relevant in the UK.
More than 3000 businesses are now certified to GOTS, from the gins to dyers, to clothing manufacturers and brands all contributing to improving the environment and social/labour conditions wherever they are. There are also over 6000 chemical inputs approved for use in organic processing.
The market for organic textile products continues to grow, in the UK GOTS certified organic textiles have seen continuous growth since the standards were introduced, with licensee sales growth of 10% in 2012 reported by Soil Association Certification Ltd.
You can see more of GOTS at the Future Fabrics Expo on 22nd – 24th September 2013 at Olympia 2, London.