Materials Innovations
A Sustainable Future
HOMEHIGHLIGHT ▸ Materials Innovations – A Sustainable Future
2018.06.25

The drive to make the fashion and textile industries more sustainable is producing new materials innovations that focus on fusing the best qualities from nature with the latest, cutting-edge technological advances.

As consumer interest and awareness of environmental and social issues is heightened, combining the development of experimental materials with increased ethical responsibility as well as providing more meaningful, experience-led products is becoming an increasingly important part of the modern textile industry’s evolution.

Today, we invite Trendstop’s team of experts to bring us the latest advancements in fabric technology and the leading brands, manufacturers and creatives pioneering a new materials movement. Be inspired by four key concepts that are shaping the future of fabric and will be essential in informing your next collection. 

Fruit Futures

Fabrics manufactured from recycled materials are undergoing a revolution in terms of quality and refinement. Italian outfit Orange Fiber are making use of the by-products created by the citrus juice industry to produce yarns and textiles suitable for the high-fashion industry, illustrated by a capsule collection made in collaboration with iconic fashion house, Salvatore Ferragamo. Fruit is also a key component of Frumat’s apple leather which transforms waste apple skins into a luxurious alternative to traditional hides and has been used in a variety of guises including designer apparel, handbag and footwear collections as well as a furnishing the interiors of several up-market hotels and restaurants.

Trend takeaway: An elevation recycled and by-product material quality is making sustainable textiles a viable alternative across all market sectors.

The Sustainable Angle

From wood fibre textiles to ethically sourced leathers and sequins made from recycled plastics, textile mills and tanneries are increasingly focussing on sustainably produced and eco-friendly alternatives to their core product, utilising the latest techniques to enhance natural qualities. At their Icelandic base, Atlantic Leather utilise by-products from the fishing industry, developing machine washable salmon leather using renewable energy sources while the Lenzing Group are leading wood fibre fabric manufacture with their Tencel and viscose made via a closed-loop system. Not-for-profit organisation, The Sustainable Angle’s annual Future Fabrics Expo and a recent ‘Future of Fashion Materials’ exhibition during the FW18-19 edition of London Fashion Week is helping promote these innovations to a global audience.

Trend takeaway: Increasing consumer demand requires manufacturers to adopt and promote sustainable practices and initiatives.

Rootbound By Diana Scherer
Plant Power

Visual artist Diana Scherer utilises the natural power of belowground plants to create an innovative 3D textile. The Rootbound series is an exercise in root system domestication that uses subterranean templates to channel and mould plant roots until they are fully grown. The plants are then removed from the soil and the stems are cut off, leaving an intricate woven structure. Although the subsequent woven, fabric-like material has not yet been developed to be worn, a prototype dress recently displayed during the V&A’s Fashioned from Nature exhibition illustrates the potential of these next-generation plant-based materials.

Trend takeaway: Experimental prototypes and new concepts provide a trickle-down of new ideas and potential adaptations to the mass-market.

Tech Expressions

Making its debut during February’s Paris Fashion Week, We+ar TRBL have produced the first flexible screen embedded garments, fusing fashion with technology to create the ultimate in customised apparel. Consisting of a fully integrated, ultra-light, e-paper screen (iki Electronic Device), compatible tee or hoodie and an accompanying mobile app, the wearer can choose the graphics and visuals that will be displayed and personalise the messages they communicate. The Parrot-owned label aims to offer an experience driven platform for self-expression and social interaction while the incorporation of technology brings fresh ideas to the hot topic of industry sustainability by giving garments the potential to be consistently updated in line with fast-fashion trends rather than replaced altogether.

Trend takeaway: The integration of fashion and technology offer exciting possibilities for the industry to impact both environmental and social issues.



Trendstop is a trend forecasting agency and consultancy with the finger on the pulse and an eye firmly to the future. With Trendstop’s trend forecasts, designers have the fundamental tools to build a collection that is not just conceptual, but carries the right elements to attract buyers’ attention and make a new label commercially viable.

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