The rapidly emerging fashion industry is a major contributor to climate changes but it hasn’t come to the notice of many until recently. As per the UN, it generates 20% of wastewater and 10% of carbon emissions across the world. Also, the fashion industry releases half a million tons of synthetic microfibres into the ocean. Of late, consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact caused by huge volumes of cheap clothes.
The sustainable fashion tech industry came into existence as a result of this realisation, and several companies are adopting technology to foster sustainability in fashion.
Sustainable fashion tech startups
As usual, this year’s Fashion Innovation Award was hosted in Switzerland. It was attended by the key stakeholders of the global fashion tech industry, including leading fashion brands and investors. This time, there was focus on the fashion tech startups deploying new technologies to enhance sustainability across the world.
For the Fashion Innovation Awards 2020, the jury chose 18 finalists from over 100 applicants from all over the world including Finland, Italy, Germany, India, Sweden, Israel, Spain, Portugal, UK, US and the Netherlands. As there were restrictions due to the COVID-19 crisis, the pitch day was held as a hybrid online-offline.
Bally, a Swiss luxury brand, along with co-operation with Loomish SA, a Swiss
investment advisory firm specialised in lifestyle tech and startup scouting announced the winners of the Fashion Innovation Award 2020 sustainability edition. Notably, the event was sponsored by AGIRE (The Innovation Agency of Southern Switzerland), Bally, Credit
Suisse, CRIF, Microsoft, Netcomm Suisse and Quantis.
Jelena Tasic Pizzolato, Director of Innovation Scouting and Deal Flow at Loomish states, “Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world and we, at Loomish, are proud to be working hand-in-hand with major international brands and leading innovators in the field to help make the industry become more sustainable..”
Meet the four winners:
Piñatex developed by Ananas Anam Ltd. is said to be a natural leather alternative made from pineapple leaf fibre. Piñatex is claimed to be an innovatively and sustainably sourced non-woven textile made from the by-product of existing agricultural practices and their use creates an additional income stream for farming communities. It has created a new industry for pineapple farming communities.
Dr. Carmen Hijosa, Founder and Chief Creative & Innovation Officer for Ananas Anam Ltd, is an entrepreneur with a vision for a more sustainable future. While it is based in London, this company operates in Spain and the Philippines.
Dutch fashion tech startup Flocus is a textile brand producing yarn blends and filling made with Kapok. Flocus unveils a host of additional kapok products including yarns, fabrics, and insulation materials, for many other applications. According to the company, Kapok is the most sustainable fibre in the market leaving no human footprint behind.
It claims that products containing Flocus are naturally comfortable, lightweight, hypoallergenic, and soft to the touch, and without any additives. These products feature other properties such as moisture management, temperature regulation, and insect repellence.
Returnity provides reusable packaging solutions to companies and organisations. The company offers consumer and B2B reusable bags and other products, industrial/enterprise reusable solutions, and custom solutions. Their products include reusable shipping boxes, bags, and envelopes, reusable shopping bags and other and reusable products. The company offers a full-service integration plan that comprises cleaning, repairing and replacing. Given that shipping packages are wasteful and expensive, this company supports investors, the community and planet.
RePack is a reusable and returnable delivery packaging designed with reuse in mind. The reusable packaging is made from recycled material and designed for at least 40 use cycles.
Packaging is adjustable and does not ship any air, saving money and nature. Reusable RePack packages are designed to fold into the size of a letter when empty and are simply returned to a postbox anywhere in the world for free of charge.
Main image picture credits: Piñatex