We’ve just spent two days at a very inspirational event, Fashion Sustain in Berlin, which took place in parallel with Fashion Week.
As the name implies, Fashion Sustain is about sustainability in the fashion industry today, but it also looks in more depth at what the future might hold - what new technologies are coming up? What new materials are being developed? How can we join the influencers in the field to make a change for clean and sustainable production processes?
We attended many presentations and participated in workshops to try and get a sense of what this all means for a growing company like Wildling.
We came back thrilled to know that we are on the right track and that the future will bring many more opportunities to help us and other companies to revolutionise production worldwide.
Cotton, linen, hemp are still in the lead as sustainable materials and, depending on the weave, can be made into almost anything - from light summer jersey to a heavier textile, like the moleskin which is used in some of our shoes and also for workwear.
But there are also some interesting developments in the pipeline - we saw shoes with wooden fibres, or wild fungi. Rubber boots made of corn. Even walnuts can be used to make soles, and there were some experiments made with algae and tea plants.
It seems creativity knows no bounds - besides bio-cotton, we’ve had a very good experience with tencel (eucalyptus) and hemp. Being one of the pioneers worldwide to use the Washi fabric (made of 70% paper) in shoes, the Tanuki model really sets the bar for more exciting possibilities in the future.
How about having your feet scanned digitally and then having your shoes printed by a 3D printer? No two pairs are alike? Sounds futuristic but actually the technology has existed for quite some time now, the problem being that not all processes are fully developed and those that are, come with a very high price tag. But this area is most probably the future of shoes.
Individualised clothing and footwear make sense because we all have different sizes and proportions, especially when it concerns feet, which come in a wide range of shapes and sizesh (as our experience has taught us) :)
In addition, morning dilemmas about what to wear could be also be a thing of the past with new software that will match our Wildlings as a part of a complete look. Or another digitised option could be an online wardrobe choice from your favorite community.
The idea of ewer dilemmas and a huge amount of different combinations sounds great, but will it come at the expense of individual taste?
We’ll have to wait and see which direction this might take.
Sustainability and education
Where exactly do my clothes come from? What’s the origin of the cotton they’re made of? How many people are involved in making and transporting them until they land in my wardrobe?
We’re happy to receive this kind of question on a daily basis, and we take real pride in answering honestly and with full transparency.
But what about other parts of the industry? How can we, as customers, influence and know more about these topics in general?
Awareness of environmental issues is growing, also thanks to websites like WikiRate, Circular.Fashion and Sustainabill that provide information about different products and manufacturers, giving us the opportunity to make the right choices as consumers.
We came back from Fashion Sustain full of hope and new ideas for Wildling, but more than that, it showed us that sustainability and environmental responsibility are no longer on the sidelines. Their part in future productions takes a central role, one that can no longer be ignored, because the implications will be catastrophic on a global scale.
It’s up to us all, as consumers and as manufacturers, to make a real change, and by the looks of it, this has taken a turn in the right direction. Progress may take time, but things are starting to look very promising :)
Run Wild, the future looks bright!