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Resources & training

SOURCE Summit 2015 Industry Leaders Panel

Summit 15-Industry Leaders Panel2 Russ Shaw, Founder of Tech London Advocates and ex-VP of Skype, chairs this dynamic and thought-provoking panel on how technology might shape a sustainable future for the fashion industry. Featuring speakers from eBay, Worn Again, and Greengrade Solutions.

Supply focus

Five materials for sustainability at scale

cocccon silk From organic silk to recycled polyester, high street fashion brands are increasingly seeking high-performing materials with a low impact on the environment. Image: Cocccon

Resources & training

SOURCE Summit 2015 Masterclass D: Design

Summit 15-Design Masterclass Renee Cuoco, from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion (part of London College of Fashion), and two renowned designers, share their thoughts and processes for sustainable design and how innovative technologies could play a part in this becoming common practice for all designers.

Resources & training

SOURCE Summit 2015 Masterclass C: Innovation

Summit 15-Innovation Masterclass2 In this masterclass, attendees heard from two exciting pioneers in innovative textiles and products, both using technology to make materials and manufacturing more efficient, less wasteful, less toxic, better quality, longer-wearing and better for business.

Quickfire Q&A

Talking Textiles with Barkha's Custom Sourcing

Barkha Malik and her team specialise in custom textile development, fabric sourcing and production management with a focus on sustainability and fair trade.

Barkha blanket

1) What do you think makes one textile more ‘sustainable’ over another?

I don’t think that we should look at one eco textile being more ‘sustainable’ over another. My recommendation to is to use the closest and best fabric that meets your needs. The goal is to use the most sustainable option you can get without sacrificing the look and feel you need. We have always been able to find something that fits our clients’ needs, whether it be organic cotton, ethically sourced silk, handloom, or Tencel.

2) What do you wish designers and brands would know more about sustainable textiles?

If you want your products to look and feel a certain way, a lot of times it means that you’re demanding a manufacturing process which involves toxic chemicals. The key is recognising that there may be certain limitations to choosing organic, non-toxic fabrics. These limitations can most often be overcome by design innovation and creativity to achieve the desired result. Designers and production teams should also take the time to get a better understanding of what it means to them to be ‘eco-friendly.’

3) Tell us about some of the textiles you work with that are relevant for garments and fashion products – any popular textiles, techniques? Anything you’re really excited about?

I am really excited about organic cruelty-free artisanal handloom silks from India. The range available is just breath-taking and the possibilities for custom creations seem endless. I am really amazed at what artisans are able to create. We are experimenting and working with natural dyes such as indigo, and traditional artisan print techniques like hand screen printing using water based inks and tie dye.

I’ve also noticed a shift in artisan capabilities and methods to meet the growing needs of the clients in the west and to adhere to the new environmental guidelines recently adopted by the Indian government.

4) Have you noticed an increased appetite in the market for artisan made textile products?

Yes, absolutely. There is a market for these fabrics in both fashion and home décor. The demand is already there, and it is rising, especially as consumers increasingly move to more sustainable life styles. I believe consumers recognise the inherent appeal and value of something that is hand crafted.

5) Are artisan made textiles more ‘ethical’ than conventionally, industrially made fabrics?

I think that artisan textiles are inherently more ethical for numerous reasons. The production releases fewer pollutants, preserves traditional craftsmanship and creates job opportunities for artisans.