by Charlotte Turner
2014 was a big year – a year of progress, of discussion, debate, and new learning. Both for us at The Sustainable Angle, and others we had the opportunity to meet and work with throughout the year.
A highlight for us was organising the 4th Future Fabrics Expo at the end of September, hosted once again at London Olympia as part of Fashion SVP. We showed over 1000 sustainable fabrics with a reduced environmental impact, along with new research, tools and resources, and the newly relaunched Future Fabrics Virtual Expo (our online 24/7/365 showcase of hundreds of sustainable materials and resources). It was a real pleasure meeting everyone who visited, and whose positive feedback was instrumental for our 2015 ambitions. 2014 also turned out to be a record year for the expo, with hundreds more registrations, more repeat visits, and another fully packed seminar on sustainable textiles sourcing. We hope (and plan!) to make it even bigger and better in 2015.
Save the date now, to visit us on 29th – 30th September in London. You can keep up to date with our event news by signing up to receive updates here. We will also be announcing the upcoming expo on our website and blog.
In addition to the main Future Fabrics Expo, we enjoyed popping up elsewhere, including at the SB’14 Sustainable Brands Conference in London, where we showed an edited version of the expo to wide range of global industry leaders. We heard about their experiences with and responses to environmental and social sustainability issues – and not just from fashion and textiles companies, but as wide as TV, transportation, beverage and technology sectors. This was a key opportunity to showcase a range of our sustainable materials, to get wider global industries involved in the conversation about the impact our textiles have – and to realise that no matter what industry sector, chances are your business will have something to do with materials, whether through buying them, giving them away, or just in the day to day through the clothes we choose to wear.
2014 also saw us run a multi-brand Future Fabrics Workshop in West London, welcoming designers and buyers from leading global retailers and suppliers, as well as new designers and boutique brands. This was an incredibly valuable chance to share some of our newest research on sustainable materials, and for participants to explore our entire materials collection. If you are interested in future workshops, you can sign up for our newsletter here…
With the same goal, we got involved in the Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s ‘Creative Hub’ initiative, running a workshop for emerging designers based on building a sustainable business, highlighting the use of reduced impact textiles as a key component to best practice. An ideal initiative for start up companies, Creative Hub returns this year with more workshops.
Along with these events, we were delighted to announce the release of the 2nd edition of ‘Fabric for Fashion’, co-authored by Amanda Johnston (curator of TSA’s Future Fabrics Expo), which has been expanded to include man made materials as well as natural fibres, delving in to the history, production methods, and characteristics of a huge range of fibres – a must have along with ‘Fabric for Fashion: The Swatch Book’, which includes over 100 fabric swatches.
Ahead of us in 2015….
We’re sure that 2015 will be just as exciting as 2014, so to get us started, here are just a few of our plans for the year:
- We’ll soon be launching the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo sourcing pool, providing the opportunity to purchase sustainable materials through the online Future Fabrics Virtual Expo.
- TSA’s curator and educational consultant Amanda Johnston will be judging the entries of WRAP’s first sustainable fashion competition, which has seen a huge amount of interest.
- In 2014 we researched new mills and fabrics at a range of trade shows in the UK, France, and Germany (such as Munich Fabric START and Outdoor Friedrichshafen). 2015 will see us also go to Italy, and to Asia. We’ll be looking to further expand our performance materials collection – so keep your eye on the innovations section of the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo. We will be making a show report available on our website after the shows in February/March, so make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter (here) to find out more.
- 2015 is also the 5th anniversary of the Future Fabrics Expo – we’ll be confirming full details soon, but in the meantime please save the date to visit the Expo on 29th-30th September 2015 in London. We’ll look forward to seeing you there.