- Credit to Leah Traill

February is upon us, and with it the “Big Four” Winter/Fall Fashion Weeks: New York, Milan, London and Paris. Last year, Fashion Week changed drastically, with cancellations, digital collections and restricted physical events. That being said, Fashion Week has always been changing. One aspect in particular has been gradually yet persistently growing: the sustainable fashion scene.

Sustainable fashion has been around for a long time - in 2004 the Ethical Fashion Show was held for the first time in disused warehouses, mostly consisting of Bohemian styles. However, sustainable fashion struggled to gain traction in the broader fashion world until the early 2010’s. This was partly driven by Messe Frankfurt, the world’s largest trade show organiser, who procured the Ethical Fashion Show and Greenshowroom and began to demonstrate to a global audience that casual, active and luxury fashion could be sustainable.

Since then, sustainability has become established in the world of fashion.

In 2017, Milan Fashion Week launched the Green Carpet Fashion Awards, to celebrate the best in sustainable fashion. That same year, Helsinki Fashion Week became known as the world’s first sustainable fashion week, where all participants must adhere to sustainable production.

Fast forward to 2019, where an avalanche of designers and brands announced commitments and green progress during Fashion Week. This includes Kering, the luxury brand company that owns Gucci, who promised to become carbon neutral across its entire supply chain and the British Fashion Council launching the Institute of Positive Fashion to gather resources and campaign for fashion sustainability.

A number of these commitments focus on swapping to eco-friendly materials. There has been a trend towards sustainably sourced fabrics, as indicated by the market share of certified cotton increasing from 5% of global cotton production in 2013 to 25% in 2019. Likewise, the market share of recycled polyester has also increased from 9% of global polyester production in 2009 to 14% in 2019.

This trend is a good start, but not enough to fight growing pollution and climate change. We need to accelerate this movement, and fashion week has the power to do so - as styles are inevitably replicated and reproduced. Phoenxt hopes to be part of this movement by providing innovative technology that turns waste fabrics into new fabrics. We must all work together to encourage sustainability in fashion for a better and brighter future.

- Credit to Leah Traill

Covid-19 has had a tremendous impact on the world, one which is likely to drive permanent change. The fashion industry is no exception: the demand for fashion is expected to decrease this year. This presents a unique opportunity to change the industry for the better. That’s where regenerative fashion comes in: a sustainable fashion revolution that is currently rising in popularity. But what exactly is it?

Regenerative fashion is about sourcing sustainable natural fibres, such as cotton and wool, grown using a regenerative agriculture approach. This approach focuses on sustainable farming practices - by avoiding harmful fertilizer and pesticides, and instead composting and cultivating a variety of plants.

In doing so, carbon dioxide is drawn out of the atmosphere and biodiversity is improved. Regenerative practices have also been found to benefit farmers, by decreasing water usage and increasing profits.

Clothes made from crops or animals are also biodegradable, meaning at the end of their life they can be composted and hence contribute to the growth of new life.

Regenerative fashion is clearly a game changer, however the fashion industry is still far from being sustainable. The focus of regenerative fashion is naturally grown materials, however 60% of textiles are made from fossil fuel-based synthetic fibres. As the world commits to net-zero emissions (more than 110 countries to date), we will need to move towards other sources. And while regenerative agriculture is one such source, it leaves the question - what do we do with all the synthetic clothes already in circulation?

Another solution then, is to recycle clothes - i.e. extract their fibres to use once again in new textiles. But sadly, less than 1% of clothes are remade into new textiles. So, what makes recycling clothes so rare?

One major barrier to recycling is that our clothes are complex. Clothes are often made from a combination of fibres, fabrics and other materials. For example, clothes are commonly made from a mixed blend of polyester and cotton (even a ‘100% cotton T-shirt’ can contain polyester stitching). Cotton has absorbent properties that make it comfortable and easier to dye, while polyester has the durability that allows clothes to last longer - thus clothes are made from both materials to optimise both function and comfort.

This is where Phoenxt comes in - we are innovating new technology to concurrently recycle polyester and natural plant based fibres such as cotton, viscose, and hemp. This technology is solvent free and maintains the fibre quality, making it sustainable and environmentally friendly. Hence, we are also contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, by reducing water pollution (goal 6) and waste via recycling (goal 12), while also committing to climate action by reducing CO2 emissions (goal 13).

Together with movements like regenerative fashion, we can create a sustainable world.

- credit to Matthew McCarty

A spectre is haunting the fashion industry - the spectre of sustainability.

As the turmoil of the world has made 2020 one of the most unprecedented and abysmal years in this century, what has become increasingly obvious is that the world is ready for change. A revolution is brewing in all corners of the world, and the fashion industry is no exception.

With its massive contribution to environmental degradation, poisoning waters and soil, building mountains of waste that only grow higher, fast fashion has created deep wounds on our planet that will take long to heal. But change is coming. The false claims by fast fashion that feign sustainability have fooled many, even though these are simply thinly veiled lies meant to deceive consumers into the illusion of “ethical consumption.” Fast fashion has done nothing to change its model, its core structure, which is at the heart of why this industry produces so much harm to the environment in the first place.

This is why Phoenxt exists. We cannot sit idly by as CO2 levels in the atmosphere grow larger and larger while the temperatures rise higher and higher. We cannot watch our rivers and oceans become increasingly full of waste at the cost of a pair of jeans. Rather, we envision a world where both fashion and sustainability go hand-in-hand. It doesn’t have to be the case that fashion comes at the cost of our planet.

The core of Phoenxt rests on the principle of recycling textiles to extract reusable fibres that maintain their integrity without harming the planet. And together with our sister company, Vivify Textiles, we can work across brands and communities to recycle, reduce, and reuse textile waste. Not only can we guarantee our model will significantly reduce harm to the planet, it will also change the fundamental structure of business models that cause massive environmental damage for massive profits.

So, as the smog from the billowing pyres of fashion’s largest factories wafts into the sky and eviscerates our atmosphere, we must ask ourselves how much longer we can handle this. The world is now on life support and change is needed more than ever. The future is ours for the taking, and the time to take it is now.

Join Phoenxt in this revolution. Together, we can make change happen.