The fabrics of the future

At ANNRO, we devote particular attention to the process of manufacturing our clothes with sustainable fabrics. What has to be considered for the building of a solid value chain by fashion designers? And where do sustainable fabrics come from? Let’s find out together!

When coming to the choice of fabrics, sustainable fashion can be pretty demanding. Everything has to be carefully reasoned and coherently applied in order to minimize the impact both in the social and environmental sphere. Reconsidering the materials used for producing clothes is an essential step towards the introduction of new ethics.

Acting sustainably begins with a conscious sourcing of materials

Achieving an eco-conscious production requires a series of considerations that have to be thought of by the fashion designers; from the extraction or harvesting of the raw material to the textile production and dye-fixing process and the biodegradability level of the fabrics for their future disposal.

Photo by Marianne Krohn on Unsplash

The fibre mostly used for the production of sustainable clothes are cotton and linen. Among them, cotton is said to be the oldest natural fibre existent; not surprisingly, it has constituted the basis for the production of clothes for millennia. With the raising of fast-fashion production, organic cotton has been substituted by its genetically-modified counterpart, the BT cotton. This has ensured an always-consistent availability of the fibre in the fashion market.

Organic is the new black

Slow-fashion production, however, has re-stated the importance of the organic cotton production developed with natural and untreated seeds. Pesticides — usually the cause of a multitude of chronic illnesses — are banned in order to ensure the safeguard of people and the environment. More than linen, cotton can be mixed with chemical fibres, among them polyester which ensures high elasticity and crease resistance to the garments.

GOTS and OEKO-TEX® certified cotton has been the basis of ANNRO’s winter collection 2018–2019. Our stretch sustainable velvet used to create both ANNRO Royal Capsule collection and ANNRO essentialsis provided with the OEKO-TEX® certification ensuring that no harmful chemicals have been used to produce the fabrics.

“We constantly work for improving our value chain”

In order to provide more softness to our clothes, we still use small portions of polyester (up to 20%) to be blended with organic cotton. As great supporters of fashion sustainability, we constantly work for improving our value chain. We do not pretend to claim ourselves 100% sustainable, but we strongly believe in the importance of raising awareness about sustainable and ethical practices among consumers.

“Sustainability and fashion can create something beautiful together”

As ANNRO’s founder, Anne Rosholm Mogensen, puts it: “There are many ways in which you can be sustainable. And you can be sustainable also without being it in every single part of your value chain. What is important is making consumers understand that sustainability and fashion can go hand in hand, and create something beautiful together”.

SUGGESTED READING:

Fabrics and raw materialshttps://www.inst.org/fashion-courses/Extract.pdf

Five Sustainable Fashion Fabrics of the Futurehttps://ethical-hedonist.com/2018/09/05/five-sustainable-fashion-fabrics-of-the-future/

The Conscious Choice of Embracing Alternatives

Elastic Waist Shirt in Black, Royal Capsule | Sustainable Fashion by ANNRO

Sustainable Fashion: The Conscious Choice of Embracing Alternatives

Embracing sustainability is now trendy. The fashion industry and its stakeholders are increasingly concerned with environmental ethics and sustainable development. But what is sustainable fashion? And what leads an always-growing number of fashion designers to choose the “green path” for their brands?

Many would argue that protecting our planet and its resources is becoming a compelling necessity. When speaking about environmental pollution and textile waste, the world of fast-fashion is certainly not exempt from criticism. Approaching ethically to textile production and building an eco-conscious business has now become a priority for both famous and, especially, new-born fashion brands, which constantly work for improving their supply chains; from the choice of fabrics, to samples’ design, garments’ manufacture and their distribution.

Long Robe Dress in Petroleum, Royal Capsule | Sustainable Fashion by ANNRO

Defined as an emergent design philosophy and ethical movement, sustainable fashion (or eco-fashion) is conceived as a form of slow fashion, which staunchly opposes to the fast- one. If fast-fashion promotes the continuous stream of new products onto the market and invites to a compulsive consume of cheap and low-quality clothes, sustainable fashion promotes the local production of longer-lasting and quality-made garments with the restoration of the traditional season collection system. Due to its constantly-evolving nature, sustainable fashion always aims at improving itself in order to minimize any undesirable effects that fashion industry has both on the environment and on all those people working on the field.

From an environmental perspective, eco-fashion firstly focuses on a careful use of natural resources (e.g. water, soil, ecosystems); a selection of renewable energy sources (e.g. wind, solar), and a maximization of products’ reuse and recycling. In this regard, eco-fashion designers usually conduct mindful and attentive analysis of the environmental impact of the fabrics that they mean to use during the stage of material sourcing and design. Raw and organic materials are chosen over synthetic fabrics; no toxic dyer is allowed. By promoting sustainable strategies of design, manufacture, transport and market textile, sustainable-fashion designers seek to actively engage consumers, thus enabling them to complete the product’s life circle by buying, using, reusing and recycling their items.

Fast fashion isn't free. Someone somewhere is paying. - Lucy Siegle

On a more socio-economic perspective, sustainable fashion places particular attention on fair trade and labour rights violation. By aligning with good and ethical codes of conduct, eco-fashion works to prevent the exploitation of factory workers — both adults and, especially, children who are still hugely involved in the process of exploitation enacted by fast-fashion production. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), indeed, the esteemed number of children involved in child labour worldwide is said to be about 260 million; of them, almost the 58% is engaged in the textile and manufacture sector. Manufacturing and marketing products ethically imply collaborations with fair-trade certified producer organisations, which support the socio-economic development of small communities — in some cases, and completely prohibit forced labour and child labour.

Through sustainable fashion, the fashion industry is moving into a new era made of conscious self-improvement and change. More and more eco-fashion designers are now choosing to build their brand identity on this new set of values based on the respect for people and environment. New possibilities and spaces for dialogue and cooperation are, thus, open for all those who decide to embrace alternatives and “wear” solidarity and eco-conscious values.

REFERENCES

Green Strategy, What Is Sustainable Fashion?:
http://www.greenstrategy.se/sustainable-fashion/what-is-sustainable-fashion/

ILO, Child Labour:
https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/child-labour/lang–en/index.htm

The Guardian, Child Labour in the Fashion Supply Chain:
https://labs.theguardian.com/unicef-child-labour/

Good on you, Ethical Fashion Certifications and Standards: What Do the Labels Mean? https://goodonyou.eco/ethical-fashion-certifications-explained/