Nanushka founder and creative director Sandra Sandor has long been pushing her conscious contemporary label’s sustainable credentials through the use of certified materials.
Now the Hungarian fashion designer, who shows the co-ed line in London and Paris, is going a step further and getting involved at the R&D stage through a partnership with Budapest’s Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME). Together the new partnership will launch the the Conscious Textile Group to research post-production textiles and circularity.
“The pressing need is to shift to a circular business model, firstly trying to decouple growth from the use of virgin materials, and collaboration is the only way forward in finding innovative and applicable solutions,” Sandor told WWD.
The program will be announced Thursday at the first edition of the university’s Future Material Conference, dedicated to new technologies in fashion and textiles.
The brand will be providing financial and staffing support for a yearlong research fellowship to explore new recycling processes and techniques, seeking to create new materials from industrial waste.
Researchers and students will be tasked with finding circular solutions, recycling processes and new techniques for waste products, deadstock yarns and deadstock base materials for use in the fashion industry.
“Nanushka has been at the forefront of sustainable materials for years, while MOME conducts extensive research on the materials of the future. We need to work together, as the fashion industry is responsible for around 10 percent of humanity’s emissions, and 85 percent of textiles are never recycled. It’s time to take action,” added Gergely Böszörményi-Nagy, MOME Foundation’s chairman of the board.
Sandor intends to use the new fabrics in future collections, as well as make them available to other brands in the future. Nanushka is under the umbrella of Peter Baldaszti’s growing Vanguards Fashion Group, which also acquired Budapest-based Aeron and Milan-based Sunnei in 2020. The group holds sustainability as one of its main tenets.
“It is becoming pivotal for brands to integrate sustainability across their entire business operations. We have seen that sustainability has become a top concern for customers, particularly post-pandemic – so embedding sustainability should represent a commercial as well as an ethical and reputational priority for any company who wants to stay competitive in the current market,” added Sandor.
In 2019, Nanushka created a dedicated sustainability team and issued its first environmental impact report in 2020. In the report, the brand noted it hit figures of 47 percent or above of sustainable materials in its collections, with the goal of hitting 100 percent by 2025.
The brand previously developed dry-process vegan leather Okobor that reduces water consumption by 80 percent, which took three years of research and testing to create.
“This is a journey where we can never really stop, we still have a long journey ahead of us,” added Sandor.