I attended the Mistra Future Fashion* event last month where the entire research team presented their 4 years research findings. One of many interesting subjects was about making fast fashion more sustainable. What if we could continue consuming fast fashion, at an even higher rate, without damaging the environment?
Professor Kay Politowicz and Dr. Kate Goldsworthy created this piece of cloth, pictured below, from wood and PLA fibres. It is basically paper. The piece is wearable and does not need to be washed - eliminating the washing phase which constitutes a major environmental impact. You could wear it once and then discard it. So, despite its short life it eliminates the carbon footprint from the consumer washing phase. Also, as the fibres used can be recovered, it is possible to create a brand new piece out of the old one.
This material do not have the same consequence as the usual cheap materials that are harmful for the environment used in fast fashion but it does not solve some other important problems such as the fact that these kind of innovations are as a matter of fact built on the foundation of finite resources. Anyhow, this is great news and I am sure that wearing paper is not so far from happening. Probably within 2-4 years from now. The question is: is it comfy? how much would it cost to manufacture? Are we ready for this? I saw and touched the prototype piece, I found it a bit rough but quite flexible with an impressive aesthetic.
This piece of cloth is made of paper
*The Mistra Future Fashion is a research program initiated in 2011 by Mistra, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, to address the sustainability challenges of the Swedish fashion industry.
One of our first posts covered the future of fashion. From tech and textiles innovations to 3 D printing and co-design. Read more here
Johanna Muvira, our Marketing & Management consultant