In one of our last Instagram posts, we reported on the search for new fabrics for our next adult collection. The selection of sustainable fabrics was not particularly large, and many fabrics also contain elastane. Blended fabrics with elastane have the advantage that the fabrics are stretchy but also dimensionally stable, wrinkle less and also fall "softer".
Such synthetic mixed fabrics (e.g. with elastane, polyester, nylon) have some disadvantages, especially in terms of sustainability:
🔥Petroleum is needed to produce synthetic fibers. A finite resource for which there are certainly more useful and necessary areas of application.
💦When the fabrics are washed, microplastic particles are released that cannot be filtered out of the water cycle and thus find their way into drinking water, soil and bodies of water.
♻️Furthermore, blended fabrics are hardly recyclable! Currently, clothing made from mixed fabrics has the following options at the end of its life:
1) Disposal: However, the majority of our clothing is not recycled, but thrown away. So it ends up in landfills (in Germany and abroad) and is incinerated.
2) Downcycling: high-quality textiles can be finely cut up and spun into new fabrics. In this process, cleaning rags or painter's fleece are produced for industry.
3) Recycling: Less than 1% of all textile waste is processed into new clothing. So far, however, only fabrics made from natural raw materials without any synthetic content could be recycled in this cycle. A mature recycling system for synthetic mixed fibers does not currently exist.
But there is reason for hope: on the one hand, technologies are currently being developed that make it possible to recycle mixed fabrics (e.g. Blend Re:wind). On the other hand, more and more processes are being developed to manufacture elastic textiles from natural fibers (natural stretch and special knitting techniques).
#circular economy #slowfashion