Researching Sustainable Fabric

If you look in your wardrobe today, how many pieces would you find that are made from resource-intensive materials such as polyester? Materials commonly used in the fashion industry, including non-organic cotton, are extremely harmful to the environment, people and animals. The fashion industry produced almost 5% of manmade CO2 emissions in 2015 – more than aviation and shipping combined.

In the last few years a wave of change has been sweeping through the fashion industry, as more and more designers commit to sustainable criteria for their processes, from sourcing to production.

Kapara has always been a conscious brand, particularly focused on social initiatives. We have developed community projects and ensured our brand contributes to the local community and pays workers fairly.

As we start looking at designing the new Kapara collection for 2020, we want to be sure that we are using the most sustainable woven fabrics we can. Using more environmentally friendly processes whilst not compromising on our collections’ special style or quality is key.

3 alternative materials stood out to us as being the best new sustainable woven fabrics:

MODAL is a super soft fiber made from beech trees. In clothing you often see it combined with cotton and spandex. It is considered a semi-synthetic because the raw material, cellulose, is a natural material which is then turned into fiber using an environmentally-friendly chemical process

ECONYL, created by Italian firm Aquafil, recycles synthetic waste such as industrial plastic, reclaimed marine debris and fishing nets from oceans, regenerating them into a new nylon yarn that is exactly the same quality as nylon. It can be recycled, recreated and remoulded again and again. High-profile brands looking to be more eco-conscious, such as Adidas, Prada, Stella McCartney and most recently, Burberry, are using ECONYL as a sustainable fabric that uses much less water and creates much less waste than nylon.

Cupro is a more sustainable and ethical alternative to silk. It is a 100% plant-based regenerated fabric made from cotton waste, which means that, unlike silk (which comes from silkworms) it is vegan and cruelty-free. More than this, it enjoys the silky smooth quality of silk and dyes very well, yielding rich colours which would suit our colourful and patterned collections!

Tencel is increasingly the fabric of choice for ethical and conscious clothing brands. It is made from wood pulp, hence it is biodegradable and requires much less energy and water than cotton. This fabric could be wonderful for Kapara clothes: it is light and breathable, soft on the skin, and even has antibacterial properties, making it perfect for our holiday styles and casual wear.

There is no clear-cut answer to finding the right eco-friendly fabric. Understandably there is a greater price tag to using these exciting innovations in textile production but we think changing to new sustainable materials where possible is part of the answer to preserving the planet!

There is no doubt that we intend to keep moving forward as an eco-conscious and sustainable brand and use better sustainable fabrics for our 2020 collection… we can’t wait for you to see!