According to the United States Energy Administration, the textile industry in U.S. is the 5th Largest Contributor, to carbon dioxide emissions in the country. But enough of the depressing facts; As consumers are becoming increasingly aware and clothing manufacturers are stepping up to more environmental responsibility, technology is taking off and there have been huge advances.
From fabrics which are made out of food, beer bottles and more, to dying with air, and web sites that know your exact measurements, these 5 awesome technologies are changing fashion as we know it.
1. Dying with Air, Saving Gallons of Water
Developed in California by Colorep, Air Dye works with proprietary dyes that are heat-transferred from paper to fabric in a one-step process. This can save between seven and 75 gallons of water in the dying of a pounds of fabric, save energy, and produces no harmful by-products. The technology uses 85 percent less energy than traditional dying methods.
The technology has become a signature element for the fabulous designing duo, Costella Tagliapietra(Air Dye pieces from Fall 2012 above) and Gretchen Jones, just to name a few.
2. Digital Printing
With digital printing, prints are directly applied to fabrics with printers, reducing water usage by 95 percent, energy reduction of 75 percent, and minimizing textile waste.
This technique has been used by designers like Mary Katrantzou, Alexander McQueen and Basso & Brooke.
3. Online Shopping Tools That Know Your Measurements
Online retailers deal with a high percentage of returns due to poor fit, material quality satisfaction, and customer’s just not liking what they get. Smart on-line shopping tools are being developed that have the potential to dramatically reduce returns and minimize shipping energy and waste in the process. My Shape has developed a patented technology that matches shoppers with items that correspond to their personal measurements and preferences. In 2009. Their size less Dressing allows shoppers to skip the size labels with the assurance that each piece of clothing they purchase will fit and flatter them.
Sometimes the “latest” innovations are really some of the oldest. A number of smaller fashion lines are resorting to locally sourced materials and hand dying their garments to create stunning looks.
Pieces from Jeff Garner’s Prophetic, rely on hemp-silk blends hand-dyed using organic dye stuffs grown locally in a community garden. Among others following this trend are Eindhoven-based designers Renee Mennen & Stefanie van Keijsteren from the design firm rENs, who have hand-dyed a clothing collection comprised of a monochrome rainbow of reds.
5. Water-Free Stone Washing
Levi’s WaterLess products are a water-conserving collection that allows the company to use an average of 28 percent less, and at times as much as 96 percent less water to finish their jeans. Thus far, the collection has reduced the company’s use of water by more than 172 million liters. Watch the process above.