With customers having an ever-growing need for durable and sustainable products that embody well-being, performance and responsibility, the fashion industry is working towards new fabrics that meet its consumers’ high expectations. We have seen an array of innovations take over the collections in the last few years and months, but a bigger shift is still needed. The AW22/23 season is already shaping into the most innovative season so far, with fairs and events showcasing newly-developed fabrics, yarns and diverse technologies. FashionUnited dives into the most promising changes for the next winter season.
While it’s true that entirely new technologies are slowly entering the industry, some fabrics have been around for a while or revisited to be more eco-friendly, too. Première Vision has highlighted the importance of linen in the AW22/23 collections - it has many sustainable credentials that correspond to what customers are looking for. Indeed, 80% of its production is made in Western Europe and is free from GMOs. It also doesn’t require a lot of irrigation, which makes it a much more responsible option than cotton. It’s appreciated by designers as it’s made from flax plant and thermoregulating, while being durable and versatile. Tencel will stick around too - it’s an easy alternative to cotton that uses much less water and is 50 percent more absorbent.
Brands are also adopting mushroom leather, the most recent ones being Hermès and Stella McCartney. Brunello Cucinelli has already released boots made of this low-impact fabric. But the AW22/23 collections will also keep on incorporating tried-and-true innovations: Stone Island is using ECONYL for its outerwear, a recycled material that uses synthetic waste like fishing nets and plastics. Italian company Aquafil is a forerunner in the field - it recycles and regenerates waste while using less water to create durable ECONYL.
We’ll still be seeing Piñatex, an alternative to leather made from pineapple leaf fibres and Parblex, a textured fabric made from potato waste sourced from McCain that embodies the concept of circular economy. Mylo, a material that imitates leather and is made from roots of fungi, will also be used for garments and accessories alike.
However, some new fabrics are taking the lead for AW22/23. ISPO Textrends award-winner ECOSENSOR™ by Asahi Kasei has just launched its collection, which blends high-performance and technology. With the goal in mind to protect nature, body and mind, it has developed a range of materials that are crafted from certified ingredients, are traceable and come from a transparent production process and supply chain.
Most of its yarns are certified Global Recycled Standard-certified (GRS) and both its dyeing and finishing techniques are certified by labels such as Bluesign® and OEKO-TEX® Standard 100. Made from 36 fabrics that mix outerwear, sportswear and innerwear, its collections feature ROICA™ EF by Asahi Kasei, a recycled stretch yarn created from pre-consumer waste and Bemberg™ by Asahi Kasei, a high-tech yarn coming from the transformation of cotton linters.
Specialised in material research and high-tech developments, the Illuna Group has introduced at Première Vision Paris new yarns that will make the AW22/23 season focus on responsibility. It has added to the GRS category recycled yarns that come in new designs and are fitted with one-of-a-kind performances. It has showcased the cord yarn, which is made from ROICA™ EF premium stretch and has a unique textured handle.