Building fashion materials that meet both a high design standard and function as a nutrient in the system.
Over the last few years as a result of both positive and negative events, the fashion industry — one always noted as a forward thinking and a social mirror (after all “the physical body when dressed reflects the “social body”) — has seen unprecedented intellectual growth: More pressure from consumers and more innovation from passionate brands. These simultaneous grassroots emergences are squeezing the fashion industry from the inside out to reexamine the business as usual, ‘race to the bottom’ practices that emerged out of the 90s with the rise of mass- and overseas production.
As the individual movement towards thoughtful or vertically integrated ethical fashion builds – not as a trend but as a fashion revolution – a major player is emerging to yoke together efforts towards a better fashion industry.
Fashion Positive is an initiative “to create better materials for clothing that have a positive and regenerative impact on the planet and all living things.” Working under Braungart and McDonough’s Cradle to Cradle design principles, Fashion Positive is one of the first comprehensive programs that works directly with researchers and fashion brands to provide better materials within the fashion industry.
By joining Cradle to Cradle’s closed-loop design methodology with fashion brands and their supply chain partners, Fashion Positive is creating healthy and safe fashion materials (textiles, trims, zippers, etc.) that can be effectively recycled or up cycled. “Everything we use should be looked at as a nutrient for a future cycle,” says Lewis Perkins of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
Partnering with long-time ethical brands such as Stella Mccartney and Loomstate, and the brands best-practices suppliers around the world, Fashion Positive is combining forces to further fund research for new material innovations.
Although the organization has the backing of big industry names, the financial scope of the project is seeking crowdsourcing funds in order to provide below market grants for innovators to create better materials.
“In the fashion industry it is really good to be a part of the change, because if you are not part of the change then you are behind. And no one wants to be behind in the fashion business,” Fashion Positive supporter Julie Gilhart.