Earth Day: Initiatives shaping a more sustainable future for fashion

Earth Day: Initiatives shaping a more sustainable future for fashion



As the world’s second most polluting industry, fashion is trying to reinvent itself to reduce its ecological impact. This involves developing new practices, using new materials, and switching to manufacturing processes that consume less water and energy. Various initiatives keep springing up to drive fashion in a direction that’s more sustainable and respectful of the planet, as well as human beings. Here’s a look at some of the most innovative approaches underway as the world celebrates Earth Day, April 22.

If upcycling, clothing repair and buying second-hand currently stand out as essential alternatives for making fashion more responsible, many in the sector are working on new solutions to considerably reduce the carbon footprint of our wardrobes. Some of these often surprising solutions could contribute to revolutionizing the textile industry as we know it.

3D printing to limit waste

From small French company 3D-Tex

That’s the challenge taken up by the Saint-MaloTBSSlip Français, and which could serve as an example in many other sectors.

While 3D printing is on a mission to revolutionize the knitwear sector in France, it seems to have already conquered the footwear sector in the United States. This is evidenced by various projects from the likes of Heron Preston and Hilos. The former presented the first 3D-printed sneakers that can be infinitely recycled in the fall of 2021, while the latter is currently producing four models of shoes made on demand using this technology, thus addressing a number of issues such as overproduction, stock shortages and energy savings. These three initiatives demonstrate the industry’s enthusiasm for 3D printing as one of the most innovative solutions for a more sustainable future.

Turning waste into clothing

While upcycling allows many brands to give a second life to their fabric scraps and surplus or used clothes, some in the industry have gone even further by transforming waste — sometimes even components whose concentration in the atmosphere is one of the factors behind global warming. Incredible, but true. The objective is to depollute the environment while proposing new creations that do not require any new raw material.

The TchaoMegot company takes an unusual approach by recycling… cigarette butts. These are collected, then cleaned through an ecological process, before being transformed into eco-designed insulation used in the padding of certain puffer jackets. It’s upcycling taken to a whole new level, while also raising awareness about the pollution generated by this common waste item, which still has a disastrous impact on the oceans.

In a different vein, the California-based start-up Newlight Technologies has developed AirCarbon, a carbon-negative biomaterial made from greenhouse gases. It took more than a decade to develop this innovation, which is of great interest to fashion giants such as Nike

And because every such initiative contributes to improving the health of the planet, ready-to-wear brands are also mobilizing for Earth Day. Projects include UGG’s new carbon-neutral Icon-Impact collection, which includes the Fluff Yeah Terry, Fuzz SugarVans

Canada Goose

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