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Materials & Technologies 

& Technologies
for Green Fashion

GREEN FASHION Workshop on 21. September 2009
Material Sense, Network for materials innovation
Simone de Waart, designer / founder

Meerthe Heuvelings, student TU/e Industrial design
Why are materials so important when it comes to improvement on 
• Globally, textile and clothing represent approximately 7% of world exports.
• Largest single fibre in production is cotton, 24 million tonnes produced per year.
Cotton is “a thirsty crop”, over 10 tonnes of water are used to grow enough cotton to make
1 pair of jeans
1 pair of jeans.
• World production of organic cotton amounts 6.000 tons of fibre anually
This is 0,03 % of global cotton production
• The maintainance of textiles during washing play a major role in energy consumption;   
‐ Washing temperatures from 50 to 40 degrees saved in testing 25% of the energy used. 
(extend of water and energy use depends on bsides temperature, washing method, load
capacity, mixture of fibres and clothing lifetimes….)
‐ For cotton
For cotton and polyesther
and polyesther the highest
the highest energy use across lifecycle is from
is from washing and drying,
and drying
viscose shows the highest energy consumption in raw material extraction and processing.
• The average lifetime of a garment is about three years.
• Post consumer waste in the UK contained 6% of bags, zippers and other accessories.

The role of Materials in Green fashion  Sources: Defra UK, Article Well Dressed?, Waste
“The sustainable garment of the future would be designed carefully, made 
from renewable materials. It would be pesticide free and produced by
workers in decent working conditions. It would washed at low temperatures
and have fashion upgrades to extend
and have fashion to extend its fashionable life. Finally
life Finally it would be
recycled, re‐used or composted. To make the vision a reality all the industry
players need to act including the consumer and the designer”

Marks & Spencer, report of Forum for the Future, 2008
Clothing  =  Consumer fashion & Business worker clothing



Packaging Retail;
andd sewings h
hangers, racks, mannequins, 
k i
Transport Bags, labels, brochures, 
fabrics buttons materials  shop interior


Materials in the supply chain of clothing
Environmental and Social impacts across the life cycle of clothing and materials

Defra, 2007, Mapping of Evidence on Sustainable Development Impacts that occur in the Life Cycles of Clothing, 
Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
Material and manufacturing process cycle
What kind of criteria did we use to check sustainable materials?

Main Criteria:

Toxicity / hazards / Emissions
Where is is produced (manufacturing Location)
Where is is produced (manufacturing Location)
Water & energy use
Waste, at the end and during production cycle
Manufacturer  (MVO) 
Examples of good materials offers and developments “Soft materials”
Examples of good materials offers and developments “Hard materials”
Labels already on the market
Criteria eco‐textile standards                                                  Source: eco‐textile labeling 2009 
Criteria voluntary organic standards                             Source: eco‐textile labeling 2009
Materials improvements pulled by initiatives and supportive programs;

Nettle fabric enhancement, Brennels (particular initiative) and Camira….. received 
E i
Environmental leadership award, result of 4 years research, backed by Defra Uk 
t l l d hi d lt f 4 h b k d b D f Uk
government’s department for environment

In the Netherlands; “duurzaam inkopen” In 2010, 75%  of purchasing by  main 
; p , p g y
gouvernemental organisations (G.O.) and 50%  of purchasing for lower G.O.

REACH ‐ Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of Chemicals, since 1st of June 2007 
entered into force. About 30.000 chemicals will be tested over the next 11 years
t di t f Ab t 30 000 h i l ill b t t d th t 11

“Wash at 30ºC” campaigns, result in change of habit.

Label for green materials – indication for fibres and fabrics by Canadian Standards 
Association, to make it accurate and not misleading, this can be used as benchmark.

Context / field of play
Made from wood pulp cellulose, PEFC and FSC certified wood, combination of properties manmade‐ and natural fibre, prevents
bacteria growth without addition of chemical additives, moisture absorption, control over entire chain from raw materials, to 
production and textile application, transparant communication

Good example, development and communication                                Tencel by Lenzing
How to share facilities, manufacturing processes? 

Process without waste Leather cutting in furniture industry
Building bridges – small label, bigger industry……..

Process without waste Mark Liu – zero waste fashion project

Tailormade / on demand             Problem  =  expensive

Techniques developed by large companies needs larger 
production amounts 

Solution ?        Increase demand by cooperation in network

3d knitting, 3d weaving, 3d moulding and 3d printing  

Efficient use of materials in manufacturing process
Inspiration / experiments new production technologies “ A Silk story” / “Biocuture”
Memory materials – adaptive to the environment

Flexible patterns change according to dressing moment

Providing energy – integrated rechargeble power

Integrated technologies
Brands and retailers are working on high innovation techniques for 
fi i hi
+  Make home laundry easier and less energy intensive. Includes 
coatings to provide stain and odour resistance; reduce total 
number of washes and faster drying without ironing.
b f h df t d i ith t i i

‐ Coatings can make it more difficult to recycle, toxicity worries 
about the nano scale particles (worker exposure and safe
about the nano‐scale particles (worker exposure and safe 
gap between research and reality
needs involvement of independent institutes, 
p ,
regulation and labelling

Finishings; Printing techniques, nano technology
In our research we meet materials with great potential, at the same time we also noticed:
‐ Potentially materials not always have “the labels” 
P t ti ll t i l t l h “th l b l ”
‐ We have to trust “the stories from the people and the brochures”
‐ New application area’s ask for redevelopment, and new development to  
transfer the techniques properly
transfer the techniques properly

So what is needed?
Our own robust MATERIAL LABEL with:
Our own robust MATERIAL LABEL with:
‐ Indepency in the check and control
‐ In combination with the already existing labels and criteria?
‐ Overview and management of the entire supply chain  ‐‐‐
Overview and management of the entire supply chain tight transparant network
tight transparant network
‐ Instruments for improving traceability along the supply chain (For ethics, trade and   
environment). And communication on materials history and origin 

To give new suppliers a chance      strengthen power of small labels, small material suppliers
Develop new applications in the field of fashion together      business model for new network 
LABEL  for:
‐ End of the chain; the consumers
‐ And for the beginning
And for the beginning of the chain; the designers
of the chain; the designers

• simplicity in criteria 
• easy readable and recognizable (use known symbols)
• Easy to compare
Easy to compare
• “Organically growing” along gained insight and experience (explosion in new developments)
• Business model for label (connected to “easy access” and effordable for small and  
medium enterprises)
• New chain connections / new networks to set up profound developments for companies.
• Making new technology research available, create possibility for pilot projects.
• We need a pool of good and independent experts!

What is needed for a material label?
Focus for the follow up:

Continue with materials research,
broaden scope of criteria based on external expertise,
Find out how to connect to already existing labels
Find out how to connect to already existing labels,
Connect creativity of design to manufacturing technologies and research,
Make new chain connections to enhance new material developments…… and finally 
incorporate it in alternative materials and products for the entire line of Green Fashion; 
p p ;
From raw material to the shop decoration

We are curious to meet your expertise and exchange ideas………………..

We are curious to meet your expertise and exchange ideas………………..

GREEN FASHION Workshop on 21. September 2009