You might not typically associate textiles with the term high-tech, but in recent years, as the drive for sustainability has gathered pace, that’s exactly what it has become. Innovation has led to a revolutionary range of sustainable fabrics and processes that have rapidly changed the world of interiors and are starting to grace the furniture in the homes and offices of today.
What makes textiles sustainable?
Before we take a look at some of the most sustainable textiles for upholstering your furniture, it’s well worth thinking about what sustainable in this context really means. These are the important questions to ask when searching for sustainable fabrics:
- Is it recyclable?
- Is it easily biodegradable?
- Is it produced using green manufacturing processes?
- Is it made using harmful chemicals that have a negative impact on indoor air quality?
- Is it made using recycled materials?
Four sustainable textiles from 2018
- Weaver Green
There has been a lot of noise made recently about the huge amount of plastic waste that is filling up landfill sites, polluting our oceans and generally creating an eyesore wherever we go. To help tackle this problem, a company called Weaver Green has started to create interior textiles from yarn that is spun entirely from used plastic bottles. The result is a fabric that looks and feels similar to rough wool. Products include blankets, bags, cushions and footstalls, with a single item using anything between 50 and 750 plastic bottles.
Plant and agricultural waste is biodegradable but there is simply too much of it in many areas for it to be managed properly. Part of the solution according to annas-anam.com is a product called Pinatex, a non-woven textile developed from the waste leaves of the pineapple plant, which are traditionally discarded by the fruit industry.
This sustainable textile can be used as an alternative to leather to upholster furniture and for a number of other potential applications. It has also created a new source of income for local farming communities, further boosting its sustainability credentials.
- Abacus from Knoll Textiles
Eco-savvy furniture manufacturer Knoll has created Abacus upholstery for furniture and panels. It is woven from 100 percent recycled polyester, which is sourced from post-industrial materials as well as drinks bottles to create a finished product that looks like virgin wool.
Climatex is an example of a sustainable fabric produced by the Swiss manufacturer Rohner Textil. It is made mostly from Ramie, which is a rapidly renewable herbaceous plant in the nettle family that has been used for more than 4,000 years by ancient civilisations including the Egyptians.
Climatex addresses a number of different sustainability issues in that it is environmentally safe, healthy and made from recyclable materials. Renewable energy resources are also used during its manufacture. All of this has led to its prestigious Cradle to Cradle certification from MBDC.
- Hoth & Bothered
Brands which put sustainability at the forefront of their mission while maintaining incredible design and aesthetics are rare – however when they get it right it’s immediately noticeable. Hoth & Bothered are a prime example of this.
The company produces a line of organic silk and cotton textiles for women, however they only source their materials from manufacturers who are environmentally sound and work closely with farmers from developing countries in order to uphold an ethical standard in their creations.
Looking forward in sustainability
Anyone who works in design knows how hard it is to make any sort of accurate prediction about future trends, however we here at Morfus think Home Textiles Premium have some fairly strong ideas about where sustainability in textiles might be heading in the near future. In their recent post they have describes the four major trends for the next season (and a very brief explanation of each):
- PanOikos: Discovering the creative outputs of different cultures and finding a way to incorporate them to your own style while still honouring the original styles.
- Lux Perpetua: Using advancements in technology to create textiles that work naturally with light, ‘capturing, reflecting and changing it’, according to Homes Textile’s Premium.
- Farbenlehre (the theory of colours): Bringing in colours that are full of life and even working with colours that the human mind generates rather than sees. This can include spectral colours or even the kinds of shades we get when light passes through a haze or catches glass at a strange angle.
- De Rerum Natura – Man’s commitment to his surroundings: The blending of natural and synthetic fabrics. Home Textiles Premium calls is ‘science in concert with conscience’, adding that the weaving of these two reflects a ‘commitment to survival’.
Boost your sustainability credentials
Make your home or office more sustainable with modular home and office storage furniture from Morfus. We achieve a balanced carbon footprint through the UK government’s Woodland Carbon Code scheme. Shop our range or get in touch with our team today.