With big fashion companies like PPR and Gucci Group establishing departments for sustainability and with the growing influence of initiatives like Livia Firth’s Green Carpet Challenge and Franca Sozzani’s work with platform Fashion 4 Development, luxury fabrics that are also ethical and sustainable are becoming more desirable.
Fabrics for the luxury market need to meet a variety of requirements – not only do they need to be of the highest quality but they need to perform well for draping, flowing, stretching and even structure and form.
As part of the this year’s SOURCE Expo 2012, we showcase some of the best sustainable fabrics and suppliers from silk to fabrics with stretch and draping capacity from around the world.
Image: Cocccon Textiles
Italy is at the forefront of successfully using the horizontal supply chain, producing beautifully crafted fabrics that are fully traceable. The company leading this revolution is Carvico a company at the top of the tables for environmental awareness. They have a huge range of different warp knitted fabrics – including fabrics for swimwear, sportswear and leisure wear. All of their fabrics are fully manufactured in Italy. Carvico show the major benefits to local sourcing and manufacturing , keeping every stage of the production process closely integrated and ‘knitted’ together.
Mantis World are suppliers who produce mainly cotton in different forms and produce cotton/elastane mixes. Mantis World pride themselves on having complete transparency, from seed to garment. They also pioneer progressive environmental practices including biofuels, heat reclaim and water recoiling.
Indian supplier Assisi Garments use only 100% organic cotton, but again offers high quality cotton/elastane blends. They focus on the rehabilitation of handicapped and economically disadvantaged women through employment.
Another Indian company Armstrong Textiles (www.armstrongknittingmills.net) pride themselves on their social commitment to serve its local communities They use organic cotton and have a number of affiliated projects to help their workers, including a mobile hospital and eye clinic and a school that now has over 1,400 students.
Cotton is the go-to fabric for versatility. Good quality organic cotton can be the focal point of a collection, or it can be the perfect base fabric to build upon. These three suppliers all specialise in high quality, organic and fairtrade cotton in a variety of weaves and blends.
Organic Cotton Biz is a family run buisness,who have the people that provide their cotton at heart. Having sold fabric for three years, they have only just recently moved into the organics sector, stocking a large range of different cottons.
Parko Organic Textiles are Turkish suppliers that only manufacture organic cotton products.They also manufacture. They are pioneers in organic cotton products and produce a variety of different blends including woven, knitted and fabrics for underwear.
Mehera Shaw use all natural fibers, predominantly organic cotton and they also provide services in pleating, pintucking, quilting and screen printing. All dyes used are Oeko Tex standardand their cotton is GOTs approved.
Drape & Flow
Cocccon are a company taking advantage of their local resources and knowledge. Working in Jharkhand (a place famous for their silk-worms) in India, they work with the locals to grow silk-worms without using any harmful chemicals or pesticides. They supply organic/non-violent silk fabrics and soya silk.
Based in Thailand Sawang Boran use fully organic Thai silk, dyed with natural dyes using traditional techniques. All the tools used in production are hand powered and the whole process with from worm to fabric is organic. They produce organic and fair trade artisanal silk.
Producing soft leathers and hand-spun silks, NV London Calcutta use natural raw materials. NV London Calcutta promote the craftmanship of India and support and empower producer groups.
A social enterprise founded to provide support and help sustain women and develop their artisan skills, Tammachat manufacture organic silks and cottons, produced onhand-powered looms.