The first edition of this eco textiles show, held at the London College of Fashion, was full of innovation. It also showed how sustainable fabrics can set trends too.
Singtex has created a process in which used coffee grounds are recycled into a new fabric called S Cafe. It is then used as a performance fabric or combined with a range of different fibres, including recycled polyester. The S Cafe fibres create fabrics that are fast drying and have UVA and UVB protection.
Class recycles plastic bottles to create polyester filament yarns for use in eco-friendly fabrics. To do this, it uses a more sustainable mechanical technique, rather than a harmful chemical process. Organic cottons are also naturally dyed – random speckled patterns are created using iron powders, while colouring comes from natural sources such as berries, seeds, leaves, flowers and the madder plant. A knitted fabric is created using 100% recycled denim, which is taken from off-cuts and waste product.
As the trend for exotic skins continues, ES has turned salmon skins, which are usually a discarded by-product of the salmon food industry, into leather. The skins are bonded together and available on the roll, which reduces the waste that usually comes from working with animal skins.
Dashing Tweeds is a British textile company that specialises in high-tech tweeds that combine 21st-century design with traditional British crafts. It uses 100% merino wool and manufacturing is done in the UK, with all the fibres yarn-dyed. There are some great updates to traditional tweeds, while an excellent use of colour signals a bright season ahead.
Holland & Sherry
Among its usual wools and worsteds, Holland & Sherry has created a unique yarn from its Scottish merino sheep flock, which is the only source of UK merino. It has painstakingly bred, shorn, spun, woven and finished the cloth, creating an exclusive 100% Scottish merino fabric.
Paper No 9
Paper No 9 creates eco-friendly leather alternatives and has come up with a technique that treats recycled paper which it then backs with canvas, linen or denim. The re-used paper is oiled and treated so it resembles leather and remains intact, but it will slowly fade and wear to reveal layers beneath. One style stood out in particular, featuring a pattern that reveals its print more clearly as it ages.