XXY Fabric Conscious: Wiser or Weirder?

XXY Fabric Conscious: Wiser or Weirder?

XXY Fabric Conscious: Wiser or Weirder?


Fashion is an obvious and exciting expression of who and what we are. Clothes are tools for describing ourselves wordlessly, for keeping us warm or cool, for brightening our day, for making us sexy, for making us subtle, for refining ourselves. It is something wonderful, and yet, paradoxically, is the opposite of wonderful for our environment. There’s something a little sinister about how the environment often inspires designers’ garments (Alexander McQueen’s feather dress, Peter Pilotto’s AW14 floral prints, Dior’s tropical flower filled show) and they, in turn, chip away at it – like water eroding a riverbank.

But we’re reaching the point where, as consumers and lovers of fashion, we want to know what the other options are. Can we look as good with much less of an impact on our world? Are there designers willing to commit to the change in production and fabric choice?

The answer, as you probably already know, is yes. Fashion Revolution  have started an enormous campaign for an annual Fashion Revolution Day, internationally renowned designer Zandra Rhodes is collaborating with fair trade & sustainable fashion company People Tree, and Stella McCartney is famously an animal rights campaigner and refuses to use leather or fur, just as examples. The revolution is happening, and the high-end design isn’t being sacrificed.

Because of incredible advances in digital fabric printing, eco-friendly designs can be created extremely easily. The speed of digital printing means that there is much less wastage than previously and hence much more environmentally friendly design. Natural fabrics (often used) also print more smoothly, a trait that lends itself happily to the movement.

Having said this, water based textile inks are readily available for screen-printing and nowadays are as beautiful as plastisol and other textile inks. There are many different options for creating exciting, innovative prints and fabrics without losing the visual appeal. Fair trade sourcing, sustainable and natural fabrics and thoughtfully considered method of printing force the argument that being fabric conscious is a wise option all round. It’s no longer hemp and plant dyes – more like photographic quality digital prints on sustainably sourced silks. It sounds like a colourful revolution that I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of.

Text: Elle Shoel

Image: http://www.peopletree.co.uk/