Alternative fashion news – Exciting pleathers, sustainable fabrics and more
Wednesday, 14 July 2021 | Kate
Here we are in our boho bubble, selling lush alternative clothes to our lovely customers. But what's going on in other people's fashion bubbles? We thought it'd be fun to go in search of news about alternative fashion, see what's going on out there. As it turns out there's a load of exciting innovation going on. Our little corner of the fashion world, far away from the high street, is enjoying a boom in popularity. Alternative clothes are big business, and often for good, green reasons. Here's the news.
<h1>Pineapple leaf fabrics on the way </h1>
Making clothes and shoes generates a whopping 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time almost half of the things sold on the world's biggest fast fashion websites are made with oil and petrol-based plastics like polyester, acrylic and nylon. Thank goodness for pineapple leaves, whose fibres are notoriously strong and very fine. Pinatex is made from pineapple fibres. A fabric that has been twenty years in the making, it's predicted to help ease fashion's guilty CO2 secret. Pinatex is 95% plant-based and the production process is 100% transparent and sustainable. The leaves are farmed co-operatively in the Philippines. People extract the fibres mechanically, wash them, and dry them in the sun. They're purified using enzymes in a factory, made into a mesh which is rolled up and shipped to Spain. Once they've been finished with a plant-based resin, coated and gently mechanically broken to soften them, the fibres are ready to be woven into fabric.
<h2>Blending man made and natural materials in new ways </h2>
Plant based materials are popping up all over the place. One new study proves there are enough natural, usable leftovers from farming in south and south east Asia to make textiles at a huge scale. The leftover plant residues can be blended with synthetic and natural fibres to create cool materials called 'agro-residue based textile fibres'. Because the fibres behave a lot like the materials already used in the fashion industry, it shouldn't be difficult for them to make the change.
<h3>Fabulous leather alternatives </h3>
Roll back time to the punk era and alternative leather trousers – usually made from PVC - were an entirely different ball game. Hot, sticky and humid, they'd glue themselves frighteningly tight to your legs. Taking them off was a challenge, involving an almighty effort and unusual strength. They left your legs wrinkly, much the same as your fingers and toes look after a too-long, too-hot bath. This was not a good fashion experience. It was almost as bad as bondage trousers, but that's another story ;) Thankfully, things have improved. Today's 'pleathers' are excellent. But now, fuelled by climate change and animal welfare, Gucci and others are looking into luxury alternative leathers.
Hermès and the California start-up Mycoworks have created Sylvania, lab-grown leather made from mycelium, the root system of mushrooms. Stella McCartney, Adidas, Lululemon and Kering have all said they'll be launching clothes made from Mylo, another mycelium leather alternative. There are lots more in the pipeline. Gucci's Demetra is made using as much as 77% plant-based materials, including viscose and wood pulps from sustainable forests. It also contains bio-based polyurethane from non-genetically modified wheat and corn. Like most it includes a small amount of synthetic material, needed to achieve the right performance, quality and finish. Eventually they hope it'll be 100% plant-based. Gucci has already begun the patenting and trademarking process, which means Demetra clothes can't be far away.
<h3>The over-sized blazer... made alternative</h3>
It. Is. Massive. The over-sized blazer is a huge fashion hit. It's super-hot on the high street. And it's brilliant worn with our clothes. Blending clever high street buys with alternative treats is a great way to stand out from the crowd without sacrificing your alternative aesthetic. A big, boxy jacket looks amazing with a pair of our harems, making a baggy, funky silhouette. It looks perfect with a mini popper skirt, tapping into the coming trend for very short skirts. Wear it over one of our lusciously pretty boho tops for a cool creative look. It all works beautifully. Get inspiration from these fab big blazers on The Independent's website.
<h3>Star in your own online fashion show! </h3>
We'd love to see photos of you wearing our clothes. It's so cool seeing all the different ways our customers wear them. Send us some pictures and we'll make you a star!