It’s been a strenuous year, under all circumstances. Litterally every single field was affected by the pandemic and numberless people are now struggling to survive.
The fashion business has been heavily affected too and has suffered a lot of forced changes. The closure of thousands of stores, the event cancellations and manufactury close down by governments for more than a year and still ongoing, will change this industry forever. A striking event for sure happened when the Danish government, in order to face the health emergency and so curb the infection of a mutated form of COVID-19 ordered to cull millions of minks in their farms. The fur business worldwide is now facing an uncertain future and a moment of deep crisis.
Difficult times though can sometimes be looked at as a chance for building new paths.
A lot of bioengineers, biophysicists and manufacturers have been working for years on new technologies to try to lead the market toward a more sustainable way of imagining fashion. A better, harmless way of recreating materials like leather and fur with cruelty-free productions and some astonishing techniques.
The startup Mycoworks, founded by Philip Ross, Sophia Wang and Eddie Pavlu produces bio-materials from mycelium. Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus and essentially consists in a mass of thread-like branching. Philip Ross began using mycelium in the 1990s as a medium for sculpture, and now with his team of artists he’s collaborating with engineers, biologist and material scientists to develop and promote this incredible material around the world.
Mycoworks is basically “a unique group of people that bridged the gap between art, science and manufactory” to use the words of Matt Scullin, the CEO of MycoWorks.
Again Bolt Threads, inspired by the beauty of nature, has been conducting thorough researches on new technologies to change the world of materials as we know it. Bolt Threads created Mylo, a replacement for synthetic and natural leathers, and the famous MicroSilk fiber, a vegan silk made using clean inputs like water, sugar, yeast and salt. All their technologies avoid the use of toxic processes and non-biodegradable fabrics and move towards sustainable and environment-friendly productions.
In Italy Adriana Santanocito came up with the stunning Ohoskin, an alternative leather from orange and cactus, presenting a 100% cruelty-free solution to luxury materials.
All these innovative products resulted even better than leather in all of the standard leather test criteria, like strenght and abrasion resistance and are now growing and fast developing business. Many fashion designers have already started collaborations and partnerships with these advanced realities.
Sustainable fashion is definitely spreading and growing, thanks to the commitment and passion of many professionals and artists all over the globe. It is a chance to finally take care of the planet and its inhabitants, to open new rich, unexplored landscapes.