Sustainable textiles from the best European textiles fairs

Sustainability is starting to be a necessity of the fashion market and every big and small textile shows give more and more space to this concept.

The goal is to give brands and producers more proposals in the textile sector to help fashion become more sustainable.

In the A new Circular Economy Action Plan is clearly explained that the ideation phase is the one with the greatest impact. It is due to the ideation phase 80% of the impact. This is why choosing the right textile is the first step for a less impactful product.

For the European area the most important textile fairs on sustainable textiles and materials are: Premier Vision which takes place in Paris and Future Fabric organized by Sustainable Angle placed in London.

Sustainable textiles from the best European textiles fairs: Paris, the greatest fair for fashion

Premier Vision from 1973 brings in Paris exhibitors for yarns, leather and fabrics of the fashion industry.

At the 2023 edition it brought together 2600 exhibitors. In recent years the Smart Creation area has grown. It is an area dedicated to hightlighting sustainable materials. Premier Vision has launched the Better Way initiative a dedicated guide to eco-respnsable sourcing.

My personal focus this year was finding circular solution for my clients.

I found more companies that source deadstock about textile and leather too.

Bigger presence of post-consume recycled cotton like Coleo and Lurdes Sampaio.

But the interesting news are two companies capable to becoming circular and therefore reducing the impact:

  • Oceansafe produced Nanea. It is designed to replace conventional polyester and is available as yarns, fibers and chips. It does not emit persistent micro-plastics. It is both toxicant-free and inherently biodegradable in soil and marine environments. Most importantly, its biodegradation process is not powered by additive technology. Additionally, NaNea is a Cradle to Cradle Certified gold fiber. It is chemically recyclable through depolymerization. These characteristics make it truly circular, therefore safe to (re-)enter the technical and biological cycles.
  • Spiber produce a brewed protein fibre. Spiber’s Brewed Protein™ material production currently relies on sugarcane and corn for primary fermentation. The company is committed to shift towards circular feedstocks in the future. For example, cellulose contained in agricultural wastes such as sugarcane bagasse or corn stover, or discarded textiles made of “Biosphere Circular” fibers, can be broken down into nutrients that can be upcycled and fed to microbes for production of Brewed Protein materials. The materials and products that can be broken down into nutrients and re-used as feedstock for fermentation, including cellulose-based materials (which can be broken down into glucose) such as cotton, linen and rayon, and protein-based items (which can be broken down into amino acids) such as wool, silk and Brewed Protein.This brewed protein is biodegradable in 6 months (only no dyed material).
Sustainable textiles from the European textiles fairs

Sustainable textiles from the best European textiles fairs: London, a fair for innovators and disruptive vision

Sustainable Angle is the not-for-profit organisation that is the founder of Future Fabrics Expo that reaches its tenth edition this year.

It is a fair completely focused on innovation in the field of sustainability and the circular issue. Over 10,000 materials and solutions for responsible sourcing, alternatives to polluting and extractive conventional materials.

The last edition mainly had areas on central topics about sustainable fashion such as:

  • New generation fibres, including from agricultural residues,
  • Biodiversity Applied supported by LVMH with the aim of making fashion a tool for protecting the ecosystem
  • Regenerative Agriculture Area with various companies and organizations working with fibers from regenerative agriculture to protect and respect the soil

About regenerative agriculture, I firmly believe that it can be the key for protecting soil and at the same time preserving our planet and all the species that inhabit it (including humans). Fashion has a great power to help to solve soil depletion. I found in this fair may textiles producers that choose fibre from regenerative agriculture like:

Fashion that chooses to be responsible must face and find a solution to another big problem: animal welfare.

Looking for alternatives to leather I found in Future Fabric some interesting solutions. Here some of them:

  • Beleaf from the Brasilian Nova Kaeru (): it is an ‘elephant ear’ leaf from a plant of Brazil. The company specializes in organic tanning on fish leathers and a plant based material. Pioneering in organic tanning technology, they developed chrome free tanning methods which do not use heavy metals.
  • Micelium based material (ephea™) from the Italian SQIM. This company brings to market an innovative class of mycelium-based materials. Ephea™ is made from fungal mycelium, the vegetative body of mushrooms and engineered to achieve a low ecological footprint.

To build the future we have to manage the present

As a consultant focused on responsibly fashion my vision of the future is strictly connected with nowadays choices.
The technology can help the fashion world and the designers that work in it to change the fashion industry dramatically.
But we have to focus on the different types of impacts that fashion brings to the Planet: not only the production of Co2 matter, but chemical and microplastics impact have a great responsibility on the polluting action.
Choosing a fibra or a material is choosing the impact that we want to have.

Three action for the future

I suggest startup and small brand three actions for build a better future:

  1. Use more pure fibra as possible (reduce garments blended with synthetic fibre). Today this action can make rise the quantity of recyclable textile waste in our future (make it recyclable)
  2. Add at your traditional business model circular ones: reuse (second hand), repair, recycled (textiles from dead stock)
  3. Save soil: choose fibers with less impact during the growth phase: organic, regenerative and gentle fibers.

About companies that want to act more responsibly and change their business model that cannot be scared of the change.

Every change needs time, needs to be understood and built in a sustainable way for the company itself.

We can change! Let’s do it together.