New sustainable textile fibers 2
The fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world, so it is obvious why innovation in the textile fiber industry is much needed. Plants that you would normally eat can be used to produce fibers with, like pineapples, coffee, bananas and stinging nettles. When reading about all these alternatives you might wonder why petroleum-based fibers are still used today. Time for a change and choose fabrics made of sustainable fibers! Today part 2 of new sustainable textile fibers, with some very interesting fibers that I had never heard of before.
Banana fiber: Banana fiber (musa fiber), coming from the stalk of the banana plant, mimics real silk and is a great vegan alternative. The textile has been used in Japanese and Southeast Asian cultures as early as the 13th century. It is resilient, soft, water repellent and sustainable and thus very suitable for raincoats and outerwear. When grown in tropical areas, banana plants rarely require fertilizers or pesticides. The crops the fibers come from are often from smaller farms, in which the farmer owns the land. The fabric itself is created (spun, dyed, and woven) by local communities of artisans who pass down these valuable, time intensive-skills to other generations.
Banana fiber has a natural sheen, and the inner strands of the stalk are very fine, making it an excellent alternative to silk. The outer strands are coarser and these can be processed into fibers similar to bamboo, hemp or linen. Some fibers are thick and coarse enough for basket weaving, which can be used in handbags.
Bacx: Bacx is an eco friendly silk fabric made by the Italian company Centro Seta. Different types of fabric can be made with Bacx, like chiffon, georgette, crepe satin and crepe de chine. The collection of fabrics is completely transparent and offers 100% traceability. From the selection of raw materials to the finished product, including dyeing, the company has a GOTS certification process. Different types of this fabric include certified silk, a blended silk textile that incorporates Newlife fibers, and "GreenFiber," a "new" silk yarn regenerated from spinning waste. Newlife yarn is 100% derived from post-consumer bottles collected, processed and transformed into a polymer, then into a yarn through a highly innovative and mechanical, not chemical, process.
Cupro: Cupro is made from cotton linter, the very fine, soft material that sticks to the cottonseeds and is left behind after the cotton has been ginned. Normally they are discarded, but now they are recycled for the production of this silky fabric. Cupro is a cellulose fiber, like tencel and modal, and it feels like silk. The fiber itself is derived from cotton linter, which is the very fine, soft material that sticks to the cottonseeds and is left behind after the cotton has been ginned. Usually, these fibers are discarded, however, they are now recycled for the production of this surprisingly beautiful textile. The fabric is breathable and regulates body temperature well. There is no need to take this textile to the cleaners as it can be washed and dried in the machine, is anti-static, and resists stretching out at high temperatures. Cupro is also hypoallergenic, making it an excellent fabric for the sensitive skin. The fact that it is made from a recycled part of the cotton plant makes cupro a sustainable fiber.
Re.Verso: Re.verso is made from pre-consumer waste fabric and fibers (wool and cashmere) that are collected and recycled into a new material. It is produced in Italy in collaboration between three companies: Green Line, Nuova Fratelli Boretti and Lanifico Stelloni. The companies are working together to create a supply chain for fashion, specializing in Italian-made, sustainable fabrics. The raw material to be recycled is sourced from all over Italy, as well as a few other European countries, by Green Line. It is prepped for spinning at Nuova Fratelli Boretti and then the fibers are blended with a high-quality wool base. Finally, it is made into yarns, knits, and woven fabrics at Lanifico Stelloni. The result is a woolen fabric with a much smaller footprint then new wool.
Roica: Produced by Asahi Kasei, Roica is a premium stretch fiber composed of least 60 percent pre-industrial waste. It can be used for various types of clothing, including sportswear, lingerie and underwear, and outerwear. Since stretch is here to stay, Roica is an excellent alternative to newly produced stretch fabrics.
Smart Materials by Okinawa: Smart Materials by Okinawa has introduced five specialty products: "Jacroki," a "very versatile material almost totally of vegetable origin"; "Washoki," a washable leather; "Hydroki," a vegetable-dyed leather that is currently the only leather in the world to be Class 1 Oeko-Tex 100–certified; "Microki," a high-performing vegan leather; and "Denim Leather," which imbues leather with a faded jeans look.