Sustainable Innovations

The Warp Of Symbiogenesis - Sustainable Innovations

The Warp Of Symbiogenesis

by PAUL SCHAFFER

Sustainable Innovations

14. May 2024

In the universe of “The Warp of Symbiogenesis,” a collection of woven fabrics unfolds, aiming to foster appreciation for the intricate interconnections among Earth’s organisms. These fabrics carry five stories of invisible connections, narrating tales of cooperation, exploitation, and competition among fungi, lichens, corals, and plants. Each symbiotic relationship inspires a distinct weaving pattern, symbolizing the unique interactions between two species. Crafted from natural fibers sourced in Europe, the textile collection invites a reconsideration of the impact and interdependence shared by all organic life forms.

How do we begin to listen to the stories of the planet? By being present in the interweaving of life, of which we are a part and always have been. As a queer speculator, designer, and researcher, Paul Schaffer is fascinated by the systems influencing our social behavior and relationship with nature. Concentrating on visual media and textiles, his work seeks to deconstruct and visually articulate the heteronormative nature of these systems. Motivated by profound curiosity and a love for research, Schaffer continually strives to comprehend systems in novel ways, addressing sensitive topics with utmost care.

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Honestly Hemp - Sustainable Innovations

Honestly Hemp

Back To The Roots

by NATASHA AMISHA

Sustainable Innovations

11. April 2024

Hemp: a truly versatile plant, once one of the main sources of man-made textiles. Today, most of us know it under the names “cannabis” or “marijuana”, which tend to evoke predominantly negative connotations. Design Academy Eindhoven alumna Natasha Amisha sought to investigate the source of this disconnect with her graduate project “Honestly Hemp”. Her vision: to create an entire outfit made wholly from hemp fibre and end the stigma surrounding the plant.

Natasha soon discovered that our tainted view of the hemp plant is mainly based on misconceptions, and that it could be a key ingredient in helping the textile industry become more sustainable. Not only is hemp a robust plant that thrives in diverse conditions, it also requires minimal water, is among nature’s strongest fibers, thus ensuring long-lasting life cycles, boosts sustainable agriculture as it enhances soil quality and is antibacterial, UV resistant and hypoallergenic. With “Honestly Hemp”, she has set out to place this fascinating natural material at the forefront of sustainable solutions for the future of the textile industry.

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BioBase - Sustainable innovations

BIOBASE

by BIOTEXFUTURE

Green Threads of Change: Revolutionizing Textiles With Sustainable Bio-based Alternatives

Sustainable Innovations

2. April 2024

BIOBASE, a central project within the BIOTEXFUTURE cluster, introduces sustainable alternatives from available resources for textile applications with competitive costs and properties. The overarching BIOTEXFUTURE project, led by the Institute for Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen (ITA), the Chair for Technology and Organizational Sociology (STO) at RWTH Aachen, and sportswear manufacturer adidas, aims for the transition of the entire textile value
chain to biobased materials.

BIOBASE is motivated by the challenge of dependence on fossil raw materials in the production of synthetic polymers, which poses ecological, economic, and political risks. The project targets the establishment of biobased polymers in the textile industry, demonstrating their full potential. Key sectors of the German textile industry, including automotive, sportswear, interiors, and technical textiles, are the focal points.

Within the BIOBASE project, the entire textile value chain of selected products is traversed. By gradually increasing the technological maturity level from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 to TRL 6–7, the industrial production of biobased and sustainable man-made fibers is advanced. Polymers, yarns, and textile surfaces are developed based on applications, considering technical requirements of the industries.

The collaboration between research institutions and industrial partners allows the creation of industrially produced demonstrators, unfolding a beacon effect for the German bioeconomy and showcasing the potential of biobased polymers available in the market. The project also identifies further research and development potential for the BIOTEXFUTURE innovation area, which can be implemented in subsequent sub-projects.

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Blooming Minds - Sustainable Innovations

Blooming Minds: Social Printing

Dynamic Diversity In Textile Printing

by ELIZABETH BALADO

Sustainable Innovations

26. March 2024

Elizabeth Balado is an artist, designer, and researcher from London, presenting a unique, experientially-driven workshop with her project “Blooming Minds: Social Printing”. Developed over the past year, the workshop combines the psychological and physical benefits of nature with community-based creation, by guiding participants to create their own prints. The workshop encourages participants to follow their own intuition to select and forage flowers and plants and then arrange a composition, before using a technique to transfer the natural dye onto cotton using a mallet.

She will be presenting a variation of the workshop at the KEYHOUSE during Munich Fabric Start, which will consist of participants applying the print technique onto tote bags, allowing them to create and keep their own work. Elizabeth’s research focuses on combining nature – especially the use of natural and recycled materials – and community, a social practice which weaves themes such as mental health while encouraging accessible creativity. Her current work can be found on her Instagram and website. Elizabeth is open to collaboration with foragers, biologists, mental health services and others interested about participating in further printing workshops.

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Being Plucked - Sustainable Innovations

Being Plucked

Artistic Rebellion Against Colonial And Gendered Hierarchies

by SUZANNE CORCESSIN

Sustainable Innovations

19. March 2024

Suzanne Corcessin’s “Being Plucked” (“Être à Fleur de Peau”) utilizes unconventional textiles to argue against the notion that bird plucking and hair removal are neutral actions. Suzanne Corcessin views these acts as political, maintaining colonial and gendered hierarchies. Through bird plucking and the aesthetics of hair removal, bodies historically have been controlled and objectified.

The installation employs latex, textiles, silicone, and feathers to create textures that confront viewers with conflicting emotions, provoking new perspectives on the debate over hair removal. In this everyday decision and product debate, the question arises: Who decides what is right or wrong, beautiful or unattractive?

“Being Plucked” questions underlying assumptions and illuminates the political dimensions of decisions about one’s body. By creating textiles that evoke discomfort, Suzanne Corcessin urges a shift in the perception of the act of hair removal, breaking through the colonial and gendered structures often associated with this topic.

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Revoltech - Sustainable Innovations

Revoltech

Light-Filled Revolution: Sustainable Hemp-Leather Innovations

by LUCAS FUHRMANN

Sustainable Innovations

7. March 2024

Lucas Fuhrmann, the visionary behind Revoltech, inaugurates a transformative era of presentation technology that amalgamates nature, technology, and sustainability. Through innovative light columns, he creates unique experiences that not only impress aesthetically but also underscore Revoltech’s
commitment to transparency and eco-friendliness.

The revolution of Revoltech lies in the use of Hemp-Leder, an advanced fusion of hemp fibers and traditional leather. This sustainable material choice reflects Revoltech’s endeavor to promote environmentally friendly and ethical practices. The physical location of Revoltech at Darmstadt, is not just a hub of progress but also a symbol of innovation and design.

Revoltech is changing the rules of the textile industry with LOVR, a revolutionary material marking the beginning of a sustainable textile revolution. LOVR, based on hemp remnants, is entirely recyclable and biodegradable, with no plastic components. With a minimal ecological footprint, LOVR can be produced carbon-neutral, finding versatile applications in furniture, fashion, and the automotive industry.

Revolutionizing the way materials are made is Revoltech’s mission. Their story began in 2021 as a spin-off from TU Darmstadt, driven by the belief that the textile industry needs a transformation. With LOVR, they make a clear statement for sustainable innovation and a future without compromises.

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A Life As An Art Project - Sustainable Innovations

HUMAN-CENTERED TEXTILES by SOPHIE CONROY:

A Life as an Art Project

Sustainable Innovations

15. February 2024

To artist Sophie Conroy, her life is an experiment. In her latest work, she chose to live without her own house for 6 months in Eindhoven, on a quest to find more connected ways of living. During this time, she experienced living amidst chaos and connection. She found various forms of shelter and witnessed the beauty of her community. Through observing her fundamental human needs, she aims to grasp their authentic essence. Embracing the discomfort of houselessness allowed her to uncover valuable insights, challenging traditional notions of art, ownership, and community.

Textiles, for Sophie, become a medium that provides protection while revealing the vulnerability of the self. Confronting existential challenges during her houselessness, textiles transform into symbols of resilience and self-discovery.

Sophie crafts her textiles using primarily found materials, notably her own clothing. She believes in the power of textiles as a communication tool, using them to capture the essence of community and home. She peels away the capitalist consumer dimension of fabric, recognising it as a fundamental connection between body and environment.

Sophie Conroy doesn’t just create artworks; she constructs spaces for dialogue and interaction. Her installations incorporate videos, tapestries, drawings, writing and projections, creating a captivating fusion of textiles and visual art. The space and Sophie herself become part of the art, inviting observers to immerse themselves in this interactive environment.

Sophie emphasises that our focus should not be on designing more ‘stuff’ but on creating new perspectives and ways of seeing. Through creating tools to shift our perspectives, Sophie believes we can move away from the current patterns of exploitation, isolation, and consumption and towards societies grounded in trust, joy, and connection.

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CLOUDWOOL - Sustainable Innovations

CLOUDWOOL by MARTIN BRAMBLEY

Sustainable Innovation from Local Wool

Sustainable Innovations

13. February 2024

Cloudwool, presented by Martin Brambley, is an oasis of sustainability in the textile universe, introducing pure, local wool of new quality to the market. The projects name symbolises not just an island in the sky but also the unity of environmentally conscious production and high-quality materials.

In a time where natural wool is often imported and blended with synthetic fibers, Cloudwool relies on local resources and fights against the neglect of local sheep farmers’ wool. The sustainable angle of Cloudwool emerges from the desire to bring local fibers to the market in new and exciting forms. The 100% local wool, typically considered waste, is transformed into a super-soft and durable fabric through nonwoven technology – without burdening the environment. Natural, breathable, and comfortable, Cloudwool integrates the natural properties of wool into the material to make it as exceptional as possible.

From farm to fabric, Cloudwool relies on local resources, creating a traceable supply chain in collaboration with European sheep farmers. The company pays farmers up to 5 times more than the market price for their wool and produces Cloudwool locally using energy-efficient processes. Together with Cloudwool, you’re not just shaping clothing but also reshaping silhouettes and textures. This isn’t just ordinary wool fabric – with more personality and far fewer post-processing possibilities, the potential is endless.

Doppelhaus, the company behind Cloudwool, was founded by Martin Brambley and Yolanda Leask. In a world where sustainable fashion must be affordable, they are committed to creating sustainable materials for a circular, low-carbon fashion industry of the future. Their innovative approach utilizes efficient nonwoven textile production techniques in line with Cradle-to-Cradle principles.

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CO2 Tex - Sustainable innovations

CO2 Tex

by BIOTEXFUTURE

Revolutionary Sustainability In The Textile Industry

Sustainable Innovations

1. February 2024

Within the BIOTEXFUTURE cluster, the CO2Tex project introduces innovative paths for sustainable elastic yarns. In the context of the overarching BIOTEXTFUTURE project, the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) and the Chair for Technology and Organizational Sociology (STO) at RWTH Aachen, together with adidas, strive to achieve the transition of the entire textile value chain to bio-based materials.

CO2Tex stands out as a central project within BIOTEXFUTURE, focusing on CO2-containing thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) as an alternative to conventional elastane. This project revolutionizes elastic yarn production by eliminating toxic solvents, not only reducing environmental impact but also enabling potential industrial mass production.

The overarching BIOTEXFUTURE project, led by ITA, STO, and adidas, aims for a swift translation of fundamental research into practical applications. Traditional textiles are to be replaced by sustainable, biobased materials, with CO2Tex playing a pivotal role by demonstrating advancements in the development of commercially viable elastic filament yarns from CO2-containing TPU.

CO2Tex’s goal by October 2024 is to establish these environmentally friendly yarns on an industrial scale, replacing conventional elastane. The project not only focuses on technological advancements but positions itself as a pioneer for sustainable development across the textile industry. By integrating CO2Tex into BIOTEXFUTURE, the vision of an eco-friendly and bio-based future in the textile industry takes a significant step forward.

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Diversity in Dynamics

Diversity in Dynamics:
An Exploration Of Our Relationship(s) With Textiles

An editorial by Simon Angel, Curator of the SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS Forum

11. January 2024

Marvelling at the levels of sophistication and innovation modern fabrics have attained and continue to breach, it is easy to forget that our relationship with textiles is one of the most intimate and primal ones we have. Granted, today’s creations are (thankfully) far removed from the scratchy cloth our ancestors wore huddled around the fire.

But over the course of time, our relationship with textiles has changed. While we have – technically and commercially – never been closer to textiles, ambitiously engineering fabric compositions to cater to an increased demand of sustainability, for instance, we are ironically also stepping further away emotionally from what was once – literally – closest to us. Today, our engagement with textiles is largely dependent on the prism through which we choose to experience and value it:

We have increasingly come to approach textiles as objects of research and science, questioning what characteristics new fabrics ought to have and how existing textiles can be improved to comply with the ever-changing demands of the market. Impressive examples of such science-led approaches are two projects within the BIOTEXFUTURE-cluster, led by the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA) and the Chair for Technology and Organizational Sociology (STO) at RWTH Aachen together with their industry partner adidas. Within BIOTEXFUTURE, they investigate the transition of the textile value chain to bio-based materials, including alternatives to conventional elastane (CO₂Tex), or the establishment of bio-based polymers in the industry (BIOBASE).

Of course, textiles also lend themselves to in-depth material exploration, analysing intricacies of production and means of (p)rethinking and challenging standards. Think of leather and its unique characteristics – who would have thought something strikingly similar could be crafted from a hemp plant, as illustrated by Lucas Fuhrmann’s “Revoltech”? Or going so far as to almost brutally decontextualize a biomaterial like feathers from their original purpose of insulation, submitting it completely to the functionality of aesthetics, as Suzanne Corcessin has done with “Being Plucked”.

Simon Angel

And still, textiles can be a means of social connection – looking at the emotional component of fabrics, their functionality and the effects they have on others in public and private interaction, reconstructing relationships and the marriage between human and textile. Beautiful testaments of such exploration are the works of Paul Schaffer, whose collection of woven fabrics aims to foster appreciation for the interconnectedness of organisms, Sophie Conroy, who investigates the metaphysical significance of textiles as a connection between the body and the environment, and Elizabeth Balado’s “Blooming Minds: Social Printing”.

Are we leading or following completely different dynamics? Are we at risk of sacrificing artistic intimacy for scientific progress? Are we winning or losing touch? It’s not about being right or wrong, but a question of prism. The Sustainable Innovations Forum proves that it is possible to navigate these different dynamics. Take Cloudwool, for example: with a diverse portfolio and numerous opportunities to work with their product, they have attracted the attention of the likes of Grenson and Balenciaga, effectively demonstrating that it IS possible to unite the different dimensions of soul and science, while successfully positioning their product at the same time.

Feel the difference in dynamics for yourself – come and meet us in the KEYHOUSE and experience the Sustainable Innovations Forum.

Best wishes,
Simon

INFORM & INSPIRE YOURSELF AT THE MUNICH FABRIC START

IN THE SUSTAINABLE INNOVATIONS AREA IN THE KEYHOUSE – H5!

Discover more industry-changing innovations at our upcoming trade fairs:

BLUEZONE

23/01 – 24/01/2024

www.bluezone.show

MUNICH FABRIC START

23/01 – 25/01/2024

www.munichfabricstart.com

THE SOURCE

23/01 – 24/01/2024

www.thesource.show