Charlotte Willis struts out to investigate the cruelty-free manner fabrics being developed.
Leather is out. Feathers are a thing of the past. Fur is a faux pas. The fashion industry is spurning traditional animal textiles in favour of the sustainable, reused and upcycled. Alternative fabrics are beginning to thump the mainstream, and we couldn’t be more excited to uncover them all!
Veganism and swine surfaces
I often get quizzed about swine textiles such as leather and feathers. The disagreement for the use of such materials is that, and there’s no easier style of saying this, the animal is no longer going to need them after their lives have been taken for the meat industry. This logic fails to acknowledge that the leather industry proceeds hand in hand with both the flesh and dairy manufactures, therefore the purchase of a skin good is an incidental course of funding these injurious and bestial occupations.
What’s more, the overwhelming majority of leather, fur and animal substances the hell is sold and bought worldwide actually is coming from thousands upon thousands of animals who are specifically engendered and impounded captive for the sole purpose of collecting their scalps, stripes and furs. These are all most industrialised manufactures, contributing to widespread ruthlessnes, suffering and needless savagery towards swine on a global scale. There’s simply no excuse to use animal fibers any more, but what are the alternatives?
Consumers are beginning to put two and two together, relating the skin on their shoes with the calves in the fields, and the fleece woven into their coats with the sheep grazing on pastured estate. Driving a distinctive shifting in consumer demand towards sustainable apparel, our catwalks are reinventing themselves with costumes adorned in inventive fabrics as pattern mansions ban animal skins in favour of all things faux.
Cork, hemp, apples, mushrooms, pineapple and coconuts- no, these are not part of a recipe for a fictitious potion. These natural resources are utilised in the creation of modern vegan cloths, all ethical, all sustainable and all completely free from cruelty.
One of the more common contentions in favour of leather is that the texture, waterproofed mood and toughness of the fiber can’t readily be replicated or matched by any other equivalent fabric. Fortunately, this argument is now null and void!
Textile designers are forever experimenting with new information that can be used to oust leather, but retaining the same useful excellences as regular skin. While this may seem like an impossible project, there have been vast moves forwards in design over the past few years, with the hasten to organize the next best faux-leather well and truly hotting up. Here are some of our beloveds 😛 TAGEND Cork
Cork is natural, durable and waterproofed. What’s more, stopper is reasonably sustainable, requiring minimal management to extract and manage it, and can be shaped and pigment into various categories of qualities and figures. The only downside? You can’t get away from the fact that it does indeed look like stopper!
Also known as MuSkin, this fiber is made from mycelium( grey, fibrous designs) in mushroom. This cloth is biodegradable , non-toxic and naturally anti-bacterial! This exciting fabric is in the development stages.
Waste pineapple leaves are used to create a vegan leather known as Pinatex, which is a wholly biodegradable, adaptable, lightweight, sustainable and non-woven substance made from waste products. Vegan shoe brand Bourgeois Boheme use this textile in their designs.
The bacterial cellulose is gathered from coconut water, and is used to create a fabric known as Malai. The concoction gleans the sea from coconut-based food production mills, and utilises it to create a sustainable, waste-free produce. Now that’s resourceful!
No, you read correctly! Apple peel can be used to create vegan leather( although, given that you have by now read all of the above, perhaps nothing surprises you anymore !). The surface is naturally breathable and resistant to UV damage- protecting the colour of the shoe while at the same time being completely hypoallergenic.
With all of these exciting, somewhat intriguing and otherwise fantastical brand-new cloths in development, where and when can we expect to see these materials sounding up on our high street runways and decorator catwalks?
Well , not to boast, but any keen book may remember the UK’s firstly fully vegan and sustainable manner prove last year, Bare Fashion, which showcased some breathtaking new vegan leathers and fabrics( OK, maybe merely a small brag ). But in terms of high-pitched street accessibility, there is scope for such fibers to be utilised in the future when mass-production are likely to be put into place.
Retailers such as H& M and Zara are exerting recycled apparel to develop brand-new collectings, which is indeed a huge step forward for such fast-fashion retailers, and showcasing that there is a clear consumer demand for all things sustainable and ethical. We are also beginning to see clear labelling of’ phony leather’ or’ vegan leather’ alongside tags and names, drawing identification of vegan goods easier.
We is in need of more rise in world markets of achieving sustainable garments. Regrettably, it seems that alt.fabrics are still considered by many high street bonds as a niche. I believe we are in the stimulating age of fashion-reincarnation, whereby consumer demand for sustainable fabrics will facilitate a huge leap forward in awareness of innovative designers, whose substances help promote sustainability and shorten our harmful output into the ecosystem upon which we rely. Until then, these textiles are available from independent retailers online, and can be found at most vegan festivals around the UK. Now that’s fashion that’s indeed show-stopping.
Charlotte is a freelance journalist and health writer who has worked with the Vegan Society and other online vegan books. Her fields of expertise and interest include vegan nutrition, holistic healthcare, mindfulness and fitness. She is currently researching and studying the various types linked by menu and mental health while pursuing a doctorate magnitude in counselling.
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