Future Fabrics Expo 2012

Written by Charlotte Turner
Event photos courtesy of The Sustainable Angle

The second Future Fabrics Expo, organised by The Sustainable Angle, was hosted on November 7-9 at the London College of Fashion. It provided an impressive physical showcase of roughly 650 fashion fabrics with a reduced environmental impact. Displays featured biodiversity, water, waste and energy impacts and benefits, as well as interactive information and videos.

The Sustainable Angle is a not for profit organisation which initiates and supports projects which contribute to minimising the environmental impact of industry and society.

The expo was intended to inform and inspire fashion designers and buyers about the variety, availability and viability of sustainable fabrics. It was visited by more than 500 fashion industry professionals and fashion students. Companies attending ranged from independent sustainable designers to large scale and luxury companies, including H&M, ASOS, Puma, Avery Dennison, Ted Baker, Marks & Spencer, Ada Zanditon, Christopher Raeburn, People Tree, and Zalando.

Organisations including the Ethical Fashion Forum, TED, Redress, and the Royal College of Art also visited, which will in turn enable a wider audience to benefit from the expo content.

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® (made from natural substances present in shells and wood), and Lenzing Tencel®. Also included were 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.

The Sustainable Angle’s London studio houses both exhibited and new sustainable fashion fabrics, which are available to view throughout the year, by appointment.

See The Sustainable Angle website for more information.

This year The Sustainable Angle worked closely with the following organisations:

Pratibha Syntex
Pratibha Syntex is one of India’s largest knitted textiles suppliers using organic and recycled fibres. They partner with over 28,000 farmers across 130 acres of Organic, Fair Trade and BCI cotton (The Better Cotton Initiative). Pratibha aim to cut both their water consumption and carbon emissions in half by the year 2015, and convert total production to sustainable fibres and material.

C.E.L.C. Masters of Linen
The European Confederation of Linen and Hemp (CELC) is the only European agro-industrial organisation uniting all stages of production and transformation for linen and hemp. CELC is spokesperson for 10,000 European companies and oversees the fibre’s development from plant to finished product.

CELC is dedicated to promoting linen’s high quality and low environmental impact, and CLUB ensures that products are 100% traceably European. See the expertise of production in the beautifully photographed video above.

C.L.A.S.S. (Creativity Lifestyle and Sustainable Synergy)
CLASS is an International eco-platform that supports and promotes environmentally sensible products for fashion, home and design, through a wide range of eco-textiles, yarns, processes and services. C.L.A.S.S. has a global network of showrooms featuring a comprehensive materials library – available for businesses, designers and buyers. They offer a complete communication, marketing and product development service, centred around a new approach to innovation and responsible textiles.

In March 2012 C.L.A.S.S. joined forces with The Green Carpet Challenge (GCC) by Livia Firth which pairs glamour and ethics to raise the profile of sustainable style at the world’s most high profile red carpet events. See the video below for more details.

Using a patented process, Singtex transform recycled post-consumer coffee grounds into their innovative S.Café® fabric. These fibres can be used for performance and insulation fabrics and can be combined with a range of fibres, including recycled polyester.

Swiss Organics
Swiss Organics is an umbrella organisation representing Swiss mills producing organic cottons. All cotton must originate from controlled organic growing. No genetically modified seeds or pesticides may be used and only natural fertilisers are permitted. All fabrics are manufactured within a 100km radius, in Switzerland, in a fully GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard) supply chain.

Guangzhou Tianhai Lace
Tianhai Lace is a mill specialising in knitted laces using recycled polyester and recycled nylon along with Modal® and organic cotton. Energy saving systems have been put in place in the factory and the waste-water treatment and recycling system have reduced water consumption by 70% since 2000.

Following the success of Future Fabrics Expo 2012 in London, the Future Fabrics Expo 2013 will be making its appearance in Copenhagen on 810 Sept, as part of a newly established commercial fair, the biggest sustainable fabrics fair in the world. More information will be available on The Sustainable Angle website soon.