Do not simply call them fabrics: the new generation fabrics are biodegradable and zero impact
One of the reasons why the fashion industry pollutes so much (it is the second most polluting industry in the world after oil) is also linked to what happens to end-of-life clothing: for the vast majority, they cannot be recycled due to the fibers they are made of. However, there are innovative companies that are working to find a solution in this sense.
Biodegradable fabrics: what happens to textile fibers
Organic base fibers, such as cotton or wool, if spun alone, without other fibers of synthetic origin, are naturally biodegradable. This means that in landfills, over the months, they are attacked by bacteria and decompose. For synthetic-based fabrics, such as polyester or polyamide (i.e. nylon), the situation is different: it takes more than 200 years to decompose. This creates an overload for waste disposal facilities and serious damage to the environment if they are not properly managed. The huge problem is that they make up most of the world’s textile needs.
Therefore, the need to strengthen the textile waste collection, sorting and recycling plants is increasingly urgent, with particular attention to synthetic fibers: to date, in fact, over 70% of this waste is dumped in landfills or incinerated without any possibility of being reused in compliance with a circular economy.
The new frontier of fabric: the recovery of textile fibers
In the fashion sector, therefore, it is essential to find alternative ways of thinking about textile fibers, in order to reduce the environmental impact as much as possible. Some companies, both Italian and foreign, have managed to create innovative fibers that even go so far as to be biodegradable. Let’s see some of them together.
Amni Soul Eco at Fulgar
Fulgar, a leading Italian company in the field of innovative fabrics, has created the Amni Soul Eco® fiber, whose special composition facilitates, in conditions of anaerobic landfill (i.e. without oxygen), the access and digestion of waste material by bacteria, accelerating the biodegradation process. I discovered this very interesting material because it is used by CasaGIN for the creation of its sportswear line: in fact, the fiber is breathable and resistant, perfect for sports. Amni Soul Eco® is eliminated from the planet in about 5 years, and, like other biodegradable products, once in landfill it decomposes into organic matter (biomass) and biogas which can be exploited as new resources for the environment and even for cogeneration of electricity.
Sustek from Technow
The Technow company has always developed in collaboration with Fulgar a collection of synthetic fabrics called Sustek that can even decompose in less than 5 years. Thanks to specific additives, these fabrics are able to dissolve much faster than normal polyester and polyamide fibers, without releasing toxic substances during the degradation process and thus reducing the strong environmental impact due to their disposal. The biodegradation process of these tissues is activated only in conditions of anaerobic landfill or in the absence of light and oxygen. This means that they can then safely be kept intact until the disposal process begins.
Sorona® in Dupont
Dupont, a German company that dates back to the 1950s, has always been active in the production of textile fibers, both synthetic and natural based. Sorona® is a textile fiber made with a corn fiber component: it is a particular type of organic polyester made in a sustainable way, which has the particularity of not creasing, which helps a lot when you want a dress to have a certain fall. This is the reason why, together with ME Organic Couture who made me discover it, since she already uses it for her tailoring productions, I chose this fabric for the creation of the dress of my capsule collection.