The Future of Sustainable Textiles

There are so many amazing innovators out there who are bringing new sustainable (and cool) textiles to life.  Never before have designers had such a broad range of fabrics to choose from.  Here’s a few of our favorites!


Orange Fibre

Orange Fiber is a startup aimed at the creation of sustainable textiles from citrus juice byproducts. We want to transform citrus byproducts – currently 700.000 tons just in Italy – in to a sustainable textile that would represent a brand new opportunity for Italian tradition in high quality textiles and fashion.

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Why we love it:  Not only is it sustainable, it utilizes a local waste product and is even beneficial to our health as it releases tiny amounts of citrus oil and vitamin C onto the skin over time leaving skin soft and moisturized


Wooden Textiles

The processes to transform wood into a flexible wooden surface is its deconstruction into pieces, which are then attached to a textile base. Depending on the geometry and size of the tiles each design shows a different behavior regarding flexibility and mobility. There are various possible applications, for example as floorings, curtains, drapes, plaids, upholstery or parts of furniture.

Wooden textiles below from Eliza Strosky

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Biocouture is not a manufacturer but the world’s first biocreative design consultancy. They work in the now, near and far future to help brands imagine their biodesigned future.


Red wine

Micro be Project participants Franklin a contemporary textile artist and Cass a scientific technician combined their forms of knowledge and with a little inventiveness; a new system will result in the bacteria’s fermentation of a garment. – See more at fibre to fashion.



Hagfish slime

Scientists are starting to understand the secrets of the hagfish slime, companies are attempting to synthesize it in the lab to create new super materials with a wide range of applications. One startup company for example, Benthic Labs, turned to the Hagfish with the ultimate goal of developing a biodegradable polymer made out of components of the slime itself. They think the slime could be used in everything from protective clothing to food packaging, bungee cords to bandages. That’s because hagfish slime threads have some impressive properties; they might be 100 times thinner than human hair, but they’re 10 times stronger than nylon.

Image from Bethnic Labs

Image from Bethnic Labs

Ingeo (corn)

Ingeo is made from dextrose (sugar) that is derived from field corn already grown for many industrial & functional end-uses. In North America, corn has been used first because it is the most economically feasible source of plant starches.

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Spoiled milk

Couture from cow’s milk’ was the brainchild of Anke Domaske, a 28-year old biologist and fashion designer from Germany, and the main ingredient is a protein derived from sour milk.Domaske and her team developed a special process which required experimenting over many years to arrive at the final fabric. She says:

“Milk is underrated because people only view it as a food-stuff. But you can make a lot more from it – milk is a wonderful, natural raw material. The special thing about milk is that is has a lovely silky feel. The fabric falls wonderfully, and it’s cheaper than silk.


Coconut fabric

Cocona, Inc. has developed a technology that incorporates natural ingredients into polymers. By using activated carbon made from coconut shells, Cocona® fabric utilizes natural technology™ that outperforms other fabrics and yarns. Cocona® fibers and yarns can be used in a wide range of knit and woven fabrics as well as non-wovens that provide effective evaporative cooling, odor adsorption and UV protection. The coconut tree is known as a “The Tree of Life”. Coconut meat, milk and oil have been widely used in products like suntan lotion, cooking, oil, medicine, water and air filters. Now, the finest quality of activated carbon comes from coconut shells to provide superior dry times, odor adsorption and UV protection on a wide range of product applications. Fabrics made from Cocona® yarns and fibers are lightweight, comfortable and retain all of the conventional product features, such as stretch and wash-ability. And, because of our patented technology, Cocona® fabrics will retain or improve their performance over the life of the garment. Cocona technology is contained inside the fiber and, unlike topical treatments, it will never wash off or wear out!




Pineapple Fabric

Created in 2013, Ananas Anam Ltd develops, manufactures and sells Piñatex™ from its head office based in London.
The company has been recognised within the fashion industry as a pioneer in the development of innovative and sustainable textiles.



Vegetables (Gicor)

Revolution M+N Textiles has created the world’s first fabric made from vegetables. This revolutionary textile is produced with 50% renewable energy and causes 77% less CO2 emissions.

M+N has developed a new glare control fabric called Revolution, manufactured from plants and vegetables. Revolution fabrics are made by extracting sugar from plants creating an eco-friendly material similar to polyester. The sugars are 100% extracted from annually renewable vegetable raw materials.

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Banana fabric is a beautiful, animal-free textile that mimics real silk, and acts as a great vegan alternative.

The fiber material comes from the stalk of the banana plant, and while it is certainly a unique idea, it is not new. The textile has been used in Japanese and Southeast Asian cultures as early as the 13th century.



The peacock feather is woven deeply into Indian culture, as it represents physical and spiritual protection. Peacocks run wild in their native India, but are highly protected because of their precious status. Therefore, only the feathers that are naturally cast off are sustainably collected for weaving so that the ecosystem of the species is not disturbed.



Spider silk

Kraig Labs is the world leader in genetically engineered spider silk technologies. We earned that place by applying our proprietary genetic engineering spider silk technology to an organism which is already one of the most efficient commercial producers of silk: The domesticated silkworm.


Kraig is focused on the creation, production and marketing of high performance and technical fibers such as spider silk. Because spider silks are stronger and tougher than steel, they could be used in a wide variety of military, industrial, and consumer applications ranging from ballistic protection to superior strength and toughness.


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One thought on “The Future of Sustainable Textiles

  1. Knowing that 1kg of cotton textile requires 20,000 litres of water that’s small amount evaporated and majority of it (polluted) goes down the drain, un fit for consumption

    Water pollution prevention is desperately needed
    We are hopeful and working at it
    Interested parties are welcomed to contribute

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