LONDON — The Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo is marking its 10th anniversary, but there is still much work to be done.
The tenth edition of the fair will be the largest to date, running June 28 and 29 at Magazine London, the 19,994-square-foot space in Greenwich.
The expo has partnered with LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton to support the focus on biodiversity, as well as Parley for the Oceans, a nonprofit environmental organization that launched in 2012 and has since worked on a $50 million project to help clean the oceans in South Asia.
The program will include speakers such as Natalia Culebras, head of Sustainable Design at Dior; designer Osman Yousefzada; the Scottish National Party politician John McNally, and many more.
This latest expo is the biggest showcase so far of sustainable fabrics and practices.
“From flowers to grapes to wool, most of LVMH’s products rely on exceptional natural resources. Therefore, the protection of ecosystems is an imperative for LVMH,” said Alexandre Capelli, group environment deputy director at LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The future for luxury conglomerates could possibly be hemp, which the team at The Sustainable Angle is backing.
“There is an area on the hemp plant that makes it a fantastic fiber to replace cotton,” said Nina Marenzi, founder of The Sustainable Angle.
“In some ways you can make fabulous denim. A high content of hemp together with cotton immediately brings down the environmental impact” of a garment, she added.
Hemp also grows very quickly; can be harvested within four months, and it also benefits the soil as it’s a rotation crop that restores nutrients.
The plant doesn’t need to be irrigated, and it grows in temperate climates which makes it beneficial to those who live close to the Northern Hemisphere and where there is a higher consumption of textiles due to the weather.
“It’s an underused crop. It’s something that grows without pesticides, marginal lands rather than on arable land. We have solutions now where it can be made into luxury fabric,” said Janet Law, research fellow at the company.
“If hemp was a superhero, common storage would be one of its superpowers as it is able to carry four times the amount of carbon,” compared with cotton, said Nicole Rycroft, founder and executive director of Canopy Planet.