Fabric From an Aerosol? LFW 2016 & the Development of ‘Eco-Fabrics’

Today marks the end of London Fashion Week 2016. As you’d expect the line-up included well known British designers such as Julien Macdonald and Vivienne Westwood, as well as featuring collections from Mulberry, Burberry and Alexander McQueen to name but a few.

Established in 1984, LFW has come to be known as one of the “Big Four” alongside New York, Milan and Paris. In other words, LFW is extremely important for those that move in the fashion world; not only is it an opportunity to spy up and coming talent, but to showcase the season’s hottest trends, and advertise a designer’s latest collection – the highlights of which can be found here

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With the gaze of the world upon them, designers and design houses alike strive for innovation, seeking the approval of the media, fashion bloggers and influential clientèle. But as many of us also know, these ‘innovations’ and trends tend come back around every few years or so. Which coincidentally brings us back round to the question of ‘innovation’, and the next frontier of fashion…material, textiles, fabric.

Whilst the industry has seen it’s fair share of strange materials, namely chocolate, zips and faux-skin, none have had the potential reach and real-life application of Fabrican. Using either a spray gun or aerosol, “the fabric is formed by the cross-linking of fibres which adhere to create an instant non-woven fabric that can be easily sprayed on to any surface” – Manel Torres even used the technology as part of his SS2012 show entitled Intsant flowers.

The technology “speeds up the traditional way of constructing garments”, can be used for “general binding, lining, repairing, covering and moulding”, and can create bespoke “seamless garments” – a  potential treasure trove for the fashion world*.

So what else is out there? A whole lot more than you could possibly have imagined, and it’s sorely underused. Science has transformed the textile landscape, and spawned a whole host of “eco-fabrics” in recent years from fermented wine, to wood pulp (Naoran), corn (Ingeo), old milk (Qmilch) and beyond. Considering the waste and pollution involved in the fashion industry as a whole, these eco-fabrics could prove revolutionary. Not only could they shake up the commercial fashion world, but promote ecological stability, the use of recycled materials and changes to the manufacturing side of clothing. These things are more important now than ever before – if we are to meet the goals of the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference, and tackle the “most urgent threat facing our species”(Leonardo DiCaprio, 2016), then serious changes need to be made to the way we consume and manufacture goods.

So when we talk about pollution, maybe it’s time we also talked about as yet untapped options available to us, including eco-friendly textiles. For these to succeed however, leaders and designers within the fashion industry need to be involved, particularly if it’s to trickle down into the mainstream fashion world.

*Fabrican are also keen to stress the technology’s adaptability – it can be used for medical purposes, spill management, as well as for industrial application.

 

 

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