Sustainable fashion is more than often perceived as hempy, hippy and lets face it ugly. There is a good little army of eco-warriors roaming the Instagram feeds devoting theit time and energy to busting this myth and making ethical fashion as cool as a (sugar-free ha!) lemonade on a hot summer day. What unites us is the feeling that not only can sustainable fashion be beautiful but also modern and innovative.
A couple of weeks ago I was at a talk with The Guardian and Christiana Figueres who has initiated the global campaign 'Mission 2020' to drive action to reach the turning point of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The idea that we have to almost reverse the last decades to get back to the point where the earth could actually sustain our lifestyles within the next two years seems quite daunting. In terms of being more sustainable in fashion and your shopping choices this often translates to: buy nothing, if you do buy second-hand or hemp like they used to back in the day. Now don't get me wrong, from an environmental perspective that would be IDEAL, but realistically that's not going to happen - it's not sexy, fabulous or Carrie Bradshaw approved if you ask me.
It's been really exciting to see so many different start-ups pop up in recent years that look at offering innovative solutions to some of our waste and consumption problems, this means that you don' have to settle for lesser quality, outdated styles or become a hippy. Some of my favourite material innovations include Econyl®, regenerated nylon made from nylon waste such as fishing nets taken from oceans and landfills. Bolthreads make lab-grown spider silk and a newly announced mushroom leather. And finally what this article is really about: Piñatex®, it's a material made from pineapple leaves that are discarded in the food industry - sounds weird I KNOW! But the material is actually incredible and has very similar qualities to leather. It's obviously vegan and has a low water footprint as it's washed in the local river and hung to dry in the sunshine before being worked into the final product. I know am the proud owner of a Distyled bag made from Piñatex® which I love, have been wearing every single day for the past month and proves how COOL sustainable innovation can look. Not to mention the satisfaction when someone compliments your bag and you can say it's made out of pineapple leaves. I'm such a geek.