Written by Charlotte Turner
The second Future Fabrics Expo was hosted on November 7-9 at the London College of Fashion with support from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion. It provided a physical showcase of roughly 650 fashion fabrics with a reduced environmental impact which looked at biodiversity, water, waste and energy impacts and benefits, as well as interactive information and videos. From the feedback we’ve received, it seems that designers and buyers are still struggling to know exactly how to incorporate sustainability more holistically into their businesses – sourcing fabrics more sustainably can be a great way to start, as well as being an area customers can directly experience the benefits from and understand.
The expo was visited by hundreds of fashion industry professionals and fashion students and we were pleased to welcome organisations including the Ethical Fashion Forum, TED, Redress, and the Royal College of Art, which will enable a wider audience to benefit from the expo content.
The expo was intended to inform and inspire fashion designers and buyers about the variety, availability and viability of sustainable fabrics, and is actively changing the outdated image of sustainable fabrics. The environmental criteria highlighted different aspects of sustainability that often get forgotten across a wide range of fibres, from cultivation, to processing, dyeing, weaving and finishing.
Fabrics on show ranged from recycled and regenerated performance fibres such as Newlife® recycled polyester (represented by C.L.A.S.S.) and recycled nylon from Hyosung, to organic, cellulosic and local fibres such as Crabyon®, Lenzing Tencel®, 100% European traceable linen from CLUB Masters of Linen, fully certified organic pima cotton from Swiss Organics, and luxury Peruvian alpaca. Processes including laser finishing for denim, innovative dyeing techniques and natural performance attributes were also explored.
We received some great feedback about the expo, and also suggestions for our next expo in 2013. We’d love to hear your thoughts so if you have any suggestions, ideas or feedback please get in touch.