16 October 2020
Author: The Future Laboratory
Sweden – Looop by H&M is a garment-to-garment recycling system that lets shoppers transform unwanted clothing into new items.
Debuting in Stockholm, the concept allows customers to bring old textiles into H&M stores to have them recycled into something new. The shipping container-sized machine functions by cleaning the garments, shredding them into fibres and spinning this into yarn, before knitting it into a new piece of clothing. While some new fibres are added as part of the remaking process, H&M emphasises that Looop aims to be as sustainable as possible by using no water or chemicals.
By allowing people to watch the creation process, Looop actively engages them with circular fashion, while repositioning the store environment as a theatrical, service-led space. ‘We are constantly exploring new technology and innovations to help transform the fashion industry as we are working to reduce the dependency on virgin resources.’ says Pascal Brun, head of sustainability at H&M.
The trend of garment upcycling and DIY fashion has been gaining momentum in recent months. Alongside shoppers transforming old or unwanted garments, brands also have an opportunity to innovate using deadstock.
US – Beauty brand LOVESEEN aims to reimagine false lashes for everyday wear with a focus on inclusive, eco-friendly designs.
The direct-to-consumer brand offers 15 styles to match the natural eye shape, skin tone and hair colour of global consumers. In this way, the brand seeks to move beyond the current aesthetic of false lashes, providing easier application and a more natural look. ‘We are trying to reimagine, or re-envision, a product that has unfortunately aligned itself with full-beat makeup and connect it more directly to a lighter, more everyday approach, explains Jenna Lyons, co-founder of LOVESEEN.
LOVESEEN even considers how natural its packaging is, with lash trays made from sugar cane pulp, outer-packaging made with recycled cardboard and paper and soy-based ink, and recyclable shipping and packing materials.
In this vein, we have previously explored the rise of Beauty Backlashers, a community that rejects prevailing narratives in the beauty industry, seeking products and processes that enable them to express their love of cosmetics and skincare without compromising on their principles.
Global – The sports brand has unveiled Strung, a new textile and manufacturing process that uses data and robotics to change how footwear is created.
Part of the Futurecraft incubator at adidas, the tech-driven textile innovation draws on athlete data, additive manufacturing and robotics.To create strong but lightweight textile uppers, each individual thread is data-mapped and woven together for a seamless fit that supports the foot’s natural movement. The uppers are also produced using one piece of material, as each thread can be set in any direction to provide support and flexibility.
In a bid to deliver the optimal experience for forefoot striking runners, the design and fit aim to improve running times by five metres per second or faster. The company has hopes for further athletic applications across different runner profiles, and intends to include Strung uppers across the adidas sports range.
Apparel and footwear brands are turning to robotics to adopt automated manufacturing processes. For more on this, read our microtrend Fast Fabrication.
UK – Good Candles is a candle brand that enables civic action through each of its scented products.
The small-batch candles are playfully labelled and scented based on different civic concerns. For example, every purchase of the School Dinners candle, which is designed to evoke memories of school puddings, guarantees a donation to food banks. Meanwhile, the Forest Fire candle is inspired by the nostalgia of campfires, and for every purchase the brand will fund the planting of 20 new trees as its philanthropic benefit.
Leaning into the rise of home purchases, Good Candles is targeting consumers who are keen to improve their living spaces while feeling good about the added benefit of philanthropic spending.
With lockdown measures having accelerated the Homebody Economy, people are increasingly seeking pleasure and comfort in their home environments.
US – Biotechnology pioneer Bolt Threads is working to scale-up production of its Mylo mushroom leather through partnerships with fashion brands including Adidas, Lululemon and Stella McCartney.
To drive forward the use and development of Mylo, a form of mushroom-based leather and an alternative to animal skins, Bolt Threads will receive collective investment from a select number of brands. In exchange for the brands' expertise, Bolt Theads will provide them with access to hundreds of millions of square feet of the innovative, sustainable material. Focusing on 2021, the partnerships will culminate with the launch of various collections incorporating Mylo leather into brands' products.
‘We are thrilled to be working with partners who recognise that we are in a race to develop sustainable solutions to conventional technologies,’ says Dan Widmaier, CEO of Bolt Threads. He considers the importance of this partnership as ‘an ongoing commitment to develop materials and products for a more sustainable future’.
For more on innovative and eco-conscious supply chain solutions, look out for our forthcoming microtrend on open-source sustainability.