Top 15 Fashion Innovations 2018 as getting ready for the Plug and Play’s Fashion for Good accelerator on its third edition. From next-generation fabrics made from algae or orange fibres to biodegradable mushroom leather and use of artificial intelligence for trend spotting and fashion design, there is a growing number of innovators changing the fashion industry as we know it.
Startups like Orange Fibre, circular.fashion, FLOCUS, Frumat, Good on You, Mango Materials, Algiknit, BioGlitz, Nano Textile, PAPTIC, PlanetCare, Style Lend, Reverse Resources, Scalable Garment Technologies and Provenance are working hard to transform the fashion industry for good and give us all a better future.
Their sustainable initiatives did not go unnoticed and the ‘Fashion for Good – Plug and Play Accelerator‘ together with its extensive network of global associates including Kering Group, Adidas, C&A, Galeries Lafayette, Zalando and Target show growing interest and support.
Here are is the brands researching and creating at the intersection of technological innovations with sustainable development, and their top 15 innovations set to change the fashion industry in 2018.
Top 15 Fashion Innovations 2018 – Sustainable Supply Chain
‘circular.fashion’ has designed an innovative piece of software that interconnects closed-loop recycling technologies with circular designs and retail models. The software enables fashion brands to produce circular garments that are assigned unique identification tags. The whole system gives access to a supply chain network sorting and recycling companies and relevant consumers with the overall aim of closing the loop to recycled fabrics and textiles.
‘Algiknit’ extracts textile fibres from kelp, a type of seaweed. During the extraction process, the resultant kelp-based biopolymer mixture is spun into thread. The yarn can then be either 3D printed or knitted, according to the type of garment or designer’s choice. Finally, the material is coloured with natural pigments and biodegradable.
‘Reverse Resources’ is a digital platform that enables fashion brands and apparel manufacturers to address consumer waste for industrial upcycling. Based on a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, Reverse Resources allows garment and textile manufacturers to map leftover fabrics in a ‘traceable’ way, throughout their life cycle. Once traced and mapped, these textile leftovers become resources that can be reintroduced into the supply chain, curbing the use of fresh supplies.
‘SGTI’or Scalable Garment Technologies Inc. has built a robotic knitting machine driven by a 3D modelling software. SGTI makes custom seamless knit garments and enables the digitisation of the entire production process. More than that, SGTI can create personalised custom garments, allowing responsiveness to custom consumer demands while reducing waste.
Top 15 Fashion Innovations 2018 – Alternatives Textiles
In WTVOX top 15 fashion innovations 2018, ‘Frumat’ creates leather-like materials from apple skins. The skin of the apple contains a substance called pectin, regarded so far as industrial waste product. However, Frumat uses pectin to create durable and compostable and sustainable leather alternatives used in personal luxury goods and fashion accessories. The leather surrogates are dyed and tanned without chemicals, in natural ways.
‘Nano Textile’ has developed a sustainable alternative to adhesive chemicals used to attach accessories and finishes on fabrics. Their new technology embeds ‘finishes’ straight into textiles via a process called Cavitation while protecting the end-user and the environment from toxic and hazardous chemicals. Moreover, this new approach works with a more extensive a range of finishes including water repellants, anti-odour, and antibacterial materials.
‘Flocus’ produces fillings, natural yarns, and textiles from kapok fibres, from the kapok tree. The tree grows without the need of chemicals in drylands, not suitable for agricultural farming. As such, the tree is an excellent alternative to cotton crops, known for their high water consumption.
‘Orange Fiber’ is an Italian startup that extracts natural textiles from oranges and lemons by-products. Orange Fiber is obtained from the cellulose derived from the discarded skins and fibres, during the industrial pressing and processing. Then, through nanotechnology procedures the paste is enriched with essential oils, producing high-quality, sustainable fabrics.
Top 15 Fashion Innovations 2018 – Sustainable Materials
‘BioGlitz’ produces biodegradable glitter based on a unique formula made from eucalyptus tree extract. The world’s first eco-glitter is recyclable, replacing the microplastics glitter used in the fashion industry and associated with environmental damage.
‘Mango Materials’ produces biodegradable, sustainable polyester. Named ‘bio-polyester’, the alternative material is made from microfibres that disintegrate with ease in landfills, wastewater treatment plants, and the even oceans, aiming to end the microfibre pollution by contributing to the closed-loop fashion industry.
‘PAPTIC’ manufactures alternative packaging materials made from sustainably sourced wood fibres. The resulting bio-based material has the fast decomposing properties of paper but retains the strong tear resistance of plastic. Also, the packaging is recyclable alongside cardboard.
‘Provenance Biofabrics’ and its team of bio-engineers have designed a leather-like material by re-programming the building blocks of leather. Produced from ‘self-assembling’ collagen molecules, this sci-fi like material is a very realistic and sustainable alternative to real leather, without endangering new species or harming animals.
‘PlanetCare’ has in production a microfibre filter for washing machines. The filter can capture microplastics from washing up liquids and detergents before being discarded into wastewater. The system works based on electrically charged fibres and a nanotech filtering membrane, helping with the decrease of microplastics which pollute the ocean.
Top 15 Fashion Innovations 2018 – Ethical Fashion
‘Good on You’ is a smartphone app which provides ratings for about 1,000 fashion brands. The ‘ethical score’ lies on an algorithm that calculates the brands’ impact on people, planet and animals. The algorithm aggregates standards, certifications and publically available data sources into a 5-point score. Good on you app aims to promote sustainable development across the fashion industry, change consumer behaviour to a more ethical approach and let them make more informed purchasing decisions.
‘Style Lend’ is a fashion rental marketplace built on AI and machine learning. The platform matches users to the most appropriate garments and accessories, based on fit and style. Moreover, by renting out garments rather than buying, customers extend the life cycle of apparel.
Top 15 Fashion Innovations 2018 – The Award Ceremony
Launched in 2017, Fashion for Good is supported by C&A Foundation and is part of Fashion for Good’s Innovation Platform. The platform includes a Scaling Programme and the Good Fashion Fund.
The awarding of the startups will take place on the 14th of June at the ‘Fashion for Good’ hub in Amsterdam, where the startups will showcase their innovations to an audience of relevant media, industry leaders and investors in fashion innovation.