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Plant based textiles

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

We have witnessed the fast-growing technology and textile companies merge together and work on a large range of projects, all centred around sustainability and the production of environmentally friendly products. Over the years there have been some immaculate, but somewhat peculiar discoveries which I would like to share with you.

Starting with the leather industry. Its shocking environmental impact through the export and production process, has caught some entrepreneur’s attention. A brand in Mexico “Desserto” has taken upon a project to produce the world’s first vegan leather. Over the two years, they have been expanding their research around the nopal cactus, which is very commonly spread around Mexico. Its hard and spiky structure can be fully reformed into a smooth and stable, biodegradable textile.

The overall product doesn’t contain toxic chemicals or PVC, which are found in plastic leathers. It is also important to state that the product is slightly cheaper than animal leather. That’s just music to our ears.

So, what else is there?

Coffee beans, these tiny crops seem to have many more positive features than just an incredible taste and smell. S. Café® technology, combines coffee grounds onto a yarn surface. This yarn is able to cool down the temperature of our skin, absorb the odor our body produces during the day, and deliver a 5x stronger UV protection than a cotton wool.

Desserto and S. Café® technology are just two of a vast group of ongoing developments.

Piñatex® is working with agricultural waste products in Philippines. They are collecting pineapple leaves and producing a non-woven fibre. It has now been used by 1000 brands. Pineapples, bananas, coffee beans, which is your favourite one? And how many more can we discover?

These fabrics provide a physical and emotional comfort. It is important to feel confident and happy in the clothes we wear. We have the opportunity to discover products which can potentially rescue our planet, but also provide us with a healthier and improved lifestyle. It is time to persevere and encourage the growth of a circular economy. Rather than take more from this world, lets try and use the by-products that we already have.


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