Fabrics are Finding Creative Alternatives for Fashion as well as Functional Uses.
We are creatures of habit. Whether its our morning coffee or the clothes we wear, us humans just revert to that which is easiest and most convenient. It’s the way the Big Guy programmed us so we can save all that important intellectual energy for the critical stuff (business decisions, choice of spouse, LLC vs S Corp).
While habits create efficiency and reliability it must not preempt an open mind to creative processes.
As an instance, let’s look at our choice of footwear, belts, wallets, and handbags. For millennia we have peeled the skin off the carcasses of dead animals, treated them with highly toxic chemicals so we did not get repulsed by the smells, stained them with dyes and had cobblers and smiths mold them to our desired use. Imagery aside, this is not a quaint nor efficient process. This is the technology we had at the time, so we went with it. Why reinvent the wheel now if its working? We are still using internal combustion engines to create mini explosions propelling us forward in vehicles not because it is efficient rather because it’s technology that is there. Fabrics are now confronted with a similar fork in the road.
Alternative fabric methodology is here. It is simply a matter of time for R+D to find internal efficiencies and then cultural acceptance for integration into the mainstream. A few interesting options to keep in mind for your wardrobe...and prospective investment opportunities:
Coffee grounds are easily accessible and offer natural anti-odor properties ideal for shoes, sneakers.
As an alternative to silkworms which are tedious to handle and require vast quantities of labor to convert to an actual fabric, rose petals waste offers a bright alternative for silk manufacturers.
Grape stems, skins and seeds are now being utilized in various clothing products both for its durability as well as eco-friendliness.
Anyone that’s ever slipped on a banana peel knows how durable they are. Now clothing manufacturers are applying that natural resilience to various clothing goods.
Mushroom leather is a thing. Apparently, these fantastic fungal spores contain filaments that are easily plied into sneakers, yoga mats and other goodies once commonly reserved solely for classic leathers.
Twisting pineapples leaves to create clothing has been a southeast Asian tradition for years. This durable, mesh is now entering the mainstream.
This is merely a sampling. Technology and creative minds are joining to bring about efficient, eco-friendly alternatives to a realm once solely occupied by animal hides. I’m not telling you to abandon your Hermes belts or Chanel bags! Just keep an open mind, and wallet, to the alternatives the market offers.
As Wayne Gretzky, the hockey great, was apt to say: “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
Article Courtesy of Luigi Rosabianca of Shield Advisory Group