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5 positive things that happened in 2022 in the textile industry

16 Jan 2023

5 positive things

2022 was a big year for so many reasons, but in a niche corner of the world were people who spent the year innovating and revolutionising the textile industry.

We’re proud to be at the forefront of textile recycling and relevant research in the UK, and part of a growth industry. In case you missed it (and we don’t blame you if you did), here are some of our favourite stories from the past year. From big moves to smaller projects, there have been some exciting advances both politically and scientifically in the land of textiles and sustainability.


A new regenerative cotton was developed by Candiani

“In a first fully circular experiment, Italian denim manufacturer Candiani has developed a plant-based stretch yarn obtained from natural rubber to replace synthetic, petroleum-based yarns”. Candiani ran a 7 week experiment, with feed-in from lots of denim brands, where they used a new yarn to grow Blue Seed cotton. It’s designed to be a strong fibre, but also uses a lot less water and chemicals to grow… and as we know, denim uses A LOT of resources.

Vollebak releases "first piece of clothing ever" coloured with black algae dye

For a bit of background, most black dyes are currently made using petroleum (which is not fabulous for Mother Nature). Vollebak, an experimental clothing brand, and LivingInk have created the world’s first t-shirt that uses dye from algae instead of petroleum. This is a HUGE breakthrough for sustainable fashion and took 5 years to develop as a process. The process takes waste spirulina algae from the natural food colouring industry and heat treats it to create a blackened char. The innovation could span further than textiles, as pretty much anything that is dyed black (eg. phone screens) contains non-renewable fossil fuel based dyes. We’d love to see this project scale up in 2023.

Heat respondent fabrics were developed

A new fabric was designed that can cool a wearer down, and warm them up depending on their needs. This type of fabric will be revolutionary for industry workers who work in extreme conditions like firefighters and farmworkers and could make their uniforms considerably more comfortable. In a more general sense, this type of fabric could become a staple in our wardrobes and reduce the need for seasonal fashion as one item could take us from Winter to Summer. If you’re looking for something similar, Finisterre offer a range of merino wool baselayers, a natural fibre, antibacterial which keeps you cool when being active and warm you up when you’re not. Make sure to keep an eye out for these on our pre-loved Finisterre page.

Wearable tech: A restaurant in Stockholm introduced aprons for their staff that absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere

A restaurant in Stockholm introduced aprons for their staff that absorbs greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. One apron is able to absorb about a third of what a tree absorbs per day. In a circular move, the restaurant hangs the aprons up in their greenhouse at the end of the day, where the C02 is rereleased to help feed their plants (ingredients). For those of you who want to know the science behind it: “The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) developed the chemical process. It comes in the form of an amine-containing solution which is used to treat cotton - fibre, yarn or fabric - making the material pull carbon dioxide towards it and capture it. This then stabilises it and stores it on the surface of the textile.”

The EU agreed to law that promotes deforestation-free supply chains

Ok, we may have left the EU (:() so this one doesn’t necessarily apply to us but it’s a great action to see and we’re keen to see a similar approach rolled out globally. The European parliament and council have agreed on a new law that fights global deforestation and forest degradation driven by European Union (EU) production and consumption. The law, once adopted and applied, will ensure that a set of goods sold in the EU market do not contribute to deforestation and forest degradation in the EU or anywhere else in the world. So many textiles rely on natural resources, so it’s great to know that fabrics produced in the EU won’t be part of the problem of deforestation.

BONUS STORY: Earth became Patagonia’s only shareholder

This has to be one of our favourite stories from 2022 and truly demonstrates how committed one brand can be to supporting our environment. 98% of Patagonia’s stock is now held by the Holdfast Collective. “Each year, profits that are not reinvested back into the business will be distributed by Patagonia as a dividend to the Holdfast Collective to help fight the climate crisis. The company projects that it will pay out an annual dividend of roughly $100 million, depending on the health of the business.” We love to see it!

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