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Reality check for circularity at Future Fabrics Expo 24

Anne Prahl

Future Fabrics Expo showcased next gen materials and alternative dyeing methods, while providing a platform to discuss the path to circularity.

4th July 2024

Anne Prahl
 |  London

Knitted Outerwear, Sports/​Activewear

Simplifyber 3D moulded products at Future Fabrics Expo. © Anne Prahl

Future Fabrics Expo 2024, held from 25th-26th June in London, featured an extensive selection of commercially available lower impact materials for fashion, footwear and home products, while continuing to showcase emerging and future material and process innovations.

Next Gen material innovation

The buzz around ‘Next Gen Materials’ continues, as an ever-growing number of innovators present recycled, renewable and lower impact material alternatives to the fashion industry’s most ubiquitous materials including virgin polyester, cotton and leather. However, we have now reached a stage where questions about scale-ability and commercial adoption, as well as the role of next gen materials in achieving circularity are discussed more frequently.

Polyester textiles made from recycled single-use plastic bottles were seen as a ground-breaking solution when they first emerged in the early 1990’s, and many sportswear and fashion brands have adopted recycled polyester over the last decade. Due to a growing number of environmental and health concerns, this bubble has now burst and calls to move away from single-use plastic waste towards textile-to-textile recycled feedstock are getting louder.

Read Anne Prahl's full report on Innovation in Textiles

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