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We all know that Première Vision is the most important exhibition of fabrics and textile materials in Europe, and in the world. It attracts leading fashion designers from all over the world, who visit the event to choose the most beautiful, innovative and unique fabrics on the market. There is no doubt about it.
This year, the Smart Creation space at the Première Vision Paris show, exhibited the industry’s most committed, inspiring and even visionary companies. There we found eco-designed, organic or recycled materials; sustainable finishings and treatments (dyes, treatments, prints); innovative and responsible design and production processes; products and technological solutions facilitating eco-design and traceability; global circular approaches; and more.
On the other hand, the fair launched this year the Eco-Innovation forum, presenting a cutting-edge selection of the show’s creative and responsible offer to promote the sustainable products, developments and approaches of companies exhibiting there. On the products, we found the Performance Codes, created by Première Vision to provide a simple and informative way to better source eco-designed materials.
All these efforts by Premiere Vision make it clear that without sustainability, there will be no fashion, or there will be no future. The entire fashion industry is indeed affected by this irreversible trend. Consumers – especially the younger generations – are increasingly demanding and insisting on greater transparency. Brands are now voluntarily integrating eco-responsibility and ethical approaches into their strategies, with ever stronger commitments (transparency and traceability of sourcing, production methods, etc.). The industry itself is mobilising and investing to create and produce more rationally and sustainably.
Traceability, over all, puts environmental, social and animal welfare data at the forefront as pillars of sustainable reconstruction.
Ancestral plant fibres such as hemp, nettle and abaca are brought up to date, and by-products from pineapple, grapes, sugar cane and olives are used to produce new fibres and materials or tanning agents.
Colour is a central theme in a winter that focuses as much on the raw beauty of the original resource tones as on new, richly coloured technologies. Plant or production waste is recycled as dyeing ingredients, combined with more energy-efficient processes. On the other hand, innovation is moving towards micro-organisms to produce dazzling shades through fermentation.
Important is also the finishing process. It tends towards mechanical processes, using calendering, rubbing, polishing, planking or sanding to highlight the natural characteristics of fabrics, leather or accessory components. Chemical processes focus on products tested to eliminate any risk elements, such as solvents, perfluorinated components or glutaraldehyde.
Through the progressive implementation of environmental management and the adoption of promising innovations at every step, the sustainable vision of the sector comes to life.
To get a better understanding of where the trends are heading and how the creators of materials and textiles are tackling the issue of sustainability, we spoke to Desolina Suter, Fashion Director at Premiere Vision Show. We summarise the most illuminating findings.
MAIN TRENDS FOR AW2023-24: “This is a season with less explosion of decor, prints or jacquard. It is a season showing more quality. You find it on the touch and the behaviour of the textiles. The result can be interpreted as a serious offer, very dense, which integrates a very compact, very impressive quality, but at the same time an understatement in behaviour. It is a season very influenced by digitisation. We see many organic patterns, also with animals and botanical elements. Even in the camouflage we have discovered new sophisticated visions. It is a very technical edition. The result of such a sophisticated technique that is not shown, you only see it by observing the behaviour of the fabric. I think it's an extremely sophisticated session.
IS THE INDUSTRY BECOMING MORE SUSTAINABLE?: “Sustainability is getting very important, we see how the offer increases. A lot of exhibitors have invested a lot of money and energy in changing the process to get something real and not greenwashing. The aim is to create high-quality, long term textiles.”
ARE LUXURY BRANDS READY FOR THE CHANGE?: “Today it is imposible to work for luxury brands if you don't have all the certifications that assure the sustainable values of your textiles. They are very demanding in terms of traceability, the high-quality of fabrics, and they also want to stay very close to nature, respecting the real colors of the fabrics, for example”.
WHAT ABOUT THE COLORS?: “Vegetable dyes are on the rise. The colors are more intense. They are using sometimes the real indigo. What is very interesting is also new textiles made with the rest of the yarns, without dyes. The color comes from their real color.”
NATURAL MATERIALS OR MIXED MATERIALS?: “You have a lot of mix of materiales, like organic cotton mixed with see weed. Hemp is increasing a lot in the composition, also cotton coming for the regenerative agriculture."
WHAT ABOUT LEATHER? HOW IS THIS SECTOR FACING SUSTAINABILITY?: “Leather is a very important industry and in the fashion world the proposition of leather is growing each season. Right now it is almost imposible to see a catwalk without leather. Said that, the leather industry faces a big challenge. They are investing a lot on the supply chain. They are developing vegetable dyes. They are working on mixing vegetable and synthetic finishing. Traceability is also fundamental on the leather industry. They are trying to include a QR code to show the journey of the leather, but it is not easy. They are trying.”
HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF FASHION: "We have to rethink why it is better to go in this direction and why it is important to consume in other way, even with fashion. For at the moment, there is a challenge between price and investment. For that the education is very important. You have to explain designers and consumers. It is very difficult for the most of the people. We do not have yet anything settled. We are all in a kind of hurry and also in uncertain times, so it needs time".