Pushing the Frontiers of Innovation: In the Name of Sustainability

When design is used as a tool to optimise natural materials by using existing resources, a new product is born. The test is whether it can be used for the greater good of the planet. A bunch of designers are doing just that. texfash.com profiles some. These are brought to you in association with and being presented at Munich Fabric Start

Long Story, Cut Short
  • The showcased designs focus on respect towards nature and environment.
  • The Keyhouse section at MFS is where trend-setting smart textiles, future fabrics and new technologies will be shown with a maximum of integration in textile products and high fashion.
  • Staged as an interactive think tank, future-oriented show cases are put in the spotlight alongside sustainable developments, expert workshops and trend seminars, be it in terms of sustainability, technology, finishing or research.
A qualitative roster of innovative designers will showcase their most inspiring range of products. From animal skin to leftover fresh fruit juice to fungi and roots, the effort is to use, recycle or reuse from nature to create something new.
An all new world A qualitative roster of innovative designers will showcase their most inspiring range of products. From animal skin to leftover fresh fruit juice to fungi and roots, the effort is to use, recycle or reuse from nature to create something new.
Munich Fabric Start Exhibitions

Sprawled over more than 1000 square metres, Keyhouse is the innovation space which will bring together game changers and pioneers, successfully giving traditionalists in the textile industry a glimpse into the future.

The "Department of Innovation" for fashion companies, it has been paving the way into the future for some time now, connecting innovators and the industry. The innovation space, which brings together game changers and pioneers, successfully gives traditionalists in the textile industry a glimpse of the future.

The result is bio-synthetically grown collagen substrate – vegan and biodegradable – from which WINT has created a running jacket that meets both aesthetic and functional demands.
100% collagen, 0% plastic The result is bio-synthetically grown collagen substrate – vegan and biodegradable – from which WINT has created a running jacket that meets both aesthetic and functional demands. Munich Fabric Start Exhibitions

Gold by Wint Design Lab (Robin Hoske and Felix Rasehorn)

If you think that "Gold" by Wint Design Lab was inspired by the shiny precious metal, you're wrong – the design research project draws its inspiration from the outer tissue layer of the cow's intestine. This extremely thin, elastic and tear-resistant membrane, also called gold beater's skin, was used in the past as a separating layer when beating gold leaf. Product designers Robin Hoske and Felix Rasehorn, founders of Wint Design Lab, recognised the potential in the material to create durable and recyclable high-performance textiles free of plastic.

Animal skins, due to their properties, have been used by humans throughout history to create textiles with water-repellent capabilities. During a one-year research fellowship, Wint therefore investigated the aesthetic and functional design features of the skin of the goldbeater and sequenced the RNA. The goal: to synthetically replicate the material properties, develop a biopolymer and use it to make high-performance textiles. In cooperation with Mimotype Technologies, a biotech start-up from Berlin, and funded by the BioTexfuture project of the ITA Institute of Textile Technology, the researchers succeeded in cultivating the unique material in bioreactors. The result is bio-synthetically grown collagen substrate – vegan and biodegradable – from which Wint has created a running jacket that meets both aesthetic and functional demands.

While the global demand for synthetic textiles continues to rise and their production consumes large amounts of petrochemicals, energy and finite raw materials, a new generation of water-repellent outdoor jackets is thus born.

Robin Hoske / Felix Rasehorn
Robin Hoske / Felix Rasehorn
@wintdesignlab
wintdesignlab.de

As designers we have to shift the reasoning of our practice from convenience to impact.

Visually and characteristically, the product can be classified as a paper, plastic or leather alternative, depending on its thickness, and offers potential for different areas of application – from interior design to the clothing industry.
Let's get circular Visually and characteristically, the product can be classified as a paper, plastic or leather alternative, depending on its thickness, and offers potential for different areas of application – from interior design to the clothing industry. Munich Fabric Start Exhibitions

Matter of Fruit by Verena Brom

Using existing resources and creating something new from them: What if you didn't dispose of the leftovers of freshly squeezed juice – but could create a new material from it? Germany is at the forefront of apple juice consumption, producing up to 200,000 tonnes of pomace per year, solid residues from the pressing process. Instead of reusing them, as has been the case up to now, mainly in biogas plants, for pectin extraction or as animal feed, textile and surface designer Verena Brom has been inspired to develop new material systems for various industries.

The product designer studied at the Weißensee Art Academy in Berlin. In the project "A Matter of Fruit", she produces various biodegradable films from pomace residues that can be used instead of synthetic material. Visually and characteristically, it can be classified as a paper, plastic or leather alternative, depending on its thickness, and offers potential for different areas of application – from interior design to the clothing industry. In addition to the films, Brom has developed a printing paste made from apple pomace that further expands the material's design possibilities and areas of application. It is suitable for laser cutting and engraving, but due to its fusibility it can also be welded or pressed into shape.

After the first cycle of use, the material can be returned to the loop: For example, it can be turned into a plant pot that biologically decomposes after being potted into the soil. This brings Verena Brohm closer to her goal of using renewable renewable resources – such as the by-products of the food industry - and to use design as a tool to optimise material cycles.

Verena Brom
Verena Brom
@a.matter.of.fruit
a-matter-of-fruit.org

In this way different processing techniques of the trester expand the scope of design and ultimately influence the feel and translucency of the material: from smooth to rough, from transparent to opaque, printed, shaped, welded – a multitude of designs are possible, without losing the mono-materiality.

With MycoColors, they want to develop optimal growth conditions for colour-producing mycelium with the aim of creating a sustainable extraction of dyes and an innovative dyeing process and establishing fungal dyes in the textile and fashion industry.
The new world of colours With MycoColors, they want to develop optimal growth conditions for colour-producing mycelium with the aim of creating a sustainable extraction of dyes and an innovative dyeing process and establishing fungal dyes in the textile and fashion industry. Munich Fabric Start Exhibitions

MycoColors by Birke Weber and Friederike Hoberg

Dyes play a major role in our daily lives – in the clothes we wear, the cosmetics we use or the food we eat. Most of the dyes we use are of synthetic origin, which poses potential health risks – both in the manufacturing process and in the dyeing process or use. In addition, dyes and pigments in industrial wastewater are not infrequently released into the environment, where they remain and damage ecosystems.

MycoColors, a project by designer Birke Weber and biochemist Friederike Hoberg, addresses precisely this problem. The two are researching the potential of alternative dyes – specifically: from fungi. With MycoColors, they want to develop optimal growth conditions for colour-producing mycelium with the aim of creating a sustainable extraction of dyes and an innovative dyeing process and establishing fungal dyes in the textile and fashion industry. Because: fungi offer a lively, broad colour spectrum that runs through all the colours of the rainbow and is far from being exhausted.

The advantages: Dyes from fungal mycelium grow within just a few days, cultivation takes place in inexpensive culture mediums and production is independent of weather and season. Furthermore, MycoColors works in a closed material cycle: resources such as water and nutrients can be recovered and reused, and by-products such as the biodegradable mycelium can either be returned to nature or upcycled – for example, by using it for paper production.

Birke Weber / Friederike Hoberg
Birke Weber / Friederike Hoberg
@mycocolors
myco-colors.com

The end customers cannot trace everything that is hidden in a purchased T-shirt or carpet. A humane and environmentally friendly alternative made from fungi aims to revise this uncertainty, especially with regard to the colors in a purchased product.

Each growth cycle produces a different result – all products are therefore individual pieces that can be further shaped by cutting, sewing, tearing or linking. For example, they can be used to create large, hanging structures, to shape vessels or to produce clothing and accessories.
Clothes that grow Each growth cycle produces a different result – all products are therefore individual pieces that can be further shaped by cutting, sewing, tearing or linking. For example, they can be used to create large, hanging structures, to shape vessels or to produce clothing and accessories. Munich Fabric Start Exhibitions

Rootful by Zena Holloway

Nature as a 3D printer: material designer and underwater photographer Zena Holloway creates shapes and forms from wheat grass roots that grow in self-carved moulds made of beeswax. The supposed magic lasts for twelve days – the roots spread out horizontally or vertically and make their individual way through the wax templates. 

Depending on the shape of these, the roots either grow small in a confined space so that they become flat and compact, or if there is more space they can root deeper and three-dimensional shapes emerge. Immediately after harvesting, the roots are heavy and moist, after 24 hours they dry out and become light as a feather.

Each growth cycle produces a different result – all products are therefore individual pieces that can be further shaped by cutting, sewing, tearing or linking. For example, they can be used to create large, hanging structures, to shape vessels or to produce clothing and accessories. The wheatgrass roots also react particularly well to natural dyeing processes.

In the name of sustainability: the water that accumulates and runs off during production can be reused and the leftover shoots, seeds or roots can be reused as animal feed. In addition, the dried root is a kind of botanical skeleton that binds carbon. Thus, the Rootful project demonstrates a micro-level approach to solving the complex problem of climate change.

Zena Holloway
Zena Holloway
@root.full
zenaholloway.com

Growing artefacts from root is the simplest concept but captures the imagination of a wide audience. I’m learning that root is a wonderful material to create fashion and art, serving to open up conversations around materiality and sustainability that inspire change.

 
 
  • Dated posted 19 January 2023
  • Last modified 19 January 2023