Fashion designers have long asked for a place to find materials they know are healthier for people and the planet — and now they have one. The new Fashion Positive Materials Collection, which debuted this week, includes 39 materials for fashion applications that are Cradle to Cradle Certified or have received a Material Health Certificate, which at higher levels of certification ensures safe materials suitable for circular design.
“For many brands, designers and suppliers, it’s a long journey to circular fashion. Fashion Positive meets our members wherever they are on that path and provides the leadership, the vision and methodology to assist our partners in the transition to circularity; the Materials Collection is a big step in that direction,” said Lewis Perkins, the President of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.
The Fashion Positive Materials Collection is an online portfolio that includes fabrics and yarns, as well as buttons, labels, elastic and even dyes for clothing and accessories. Each entry includes information on available sizes, weights, colors and a range of other specifications. Updated details about available stock and custom ordering make choosing the right material straightforward.
“Materials are also assessed against our Standard, so not only are they potentially circular, they are also making a positive impact right now. To obtain Cradle to Cradle Certification, materials are assessed against requirements in 5 standard categories ensuring holistic environmental quality that goes beyond circularity,” Perkins added.
The 5 categories include material health, material reuse, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness. 32 of the total 39 materials in the Collection are Cradle to Cradle Certified, with a Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum Certification indicating how the material scored across those categories. All, however, have been assessed and improved based on the material health category requirements in the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard.
Fashion Positive says that the goal is circular materials that can be perpetually cycled.
Some of the materials include in the new collection include cashmere and cashmere/silk yarns from Maiyet’s FAIR cashmere; elastic bands, buttons, sewing thread, woven labels, woven ribbon, interfacing, and monofilament for 3D printing in Lauffenmühle’s infinito® toolkit; and reactive, vat and disperse dyes for wool, cotton and polyester from DyStar Colours Distribution, Gmbh.
“Being a part of Fashion Positive’s Materials Collection is huge for us. The assessment process was thorough and incredibly rigorous, which is why we’re proud that our dyes received a Material Health Certificate at the GOLD-level,” commented Fanny Vermandel, a Vice President at DyStar.
Fashion is one of the most polluting and water-intensive industries in the world, on top of the poor working conditions many garment workers are subjected to. Thanks to growing awareness of such issues, the fashion industry is poised to undergo a sustainability overhaul – and some have said it already is. Regarding circular models, startups such as Thread and Looptworks have already begun partnering with larger companies to upcycle materials and develop closed-loop solutions, including Timberland and Southwest Airlines; while Netherlands-based Dutch Awearness recently launched an online software tool to help track and trace garments and their materials, with the aim of creating more transparent and circular supply chains.