Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel
There’s a new design wave in the surfwear industry – “sustainable fashion.”
European designer Anne Prahl, who works with major clothing brands and specializes in sustainable fashions, says we can expect to see, “a new generation of bio-based materials that are lab-grown and engineered, as well as 100% recyclable and biodegradable textiles.”
Prahl believes that “we need to embed sustainability right into our design concepts” from the very start and train new designers to think of how their fashions can be reused and repurposed after their initial use is over.
Adidas is putting recycling in the forefront and partnering with environmental nonprofit Parley for the Oceans. Together they’ve introduced sneakers made from abandoned gill-nets and turned recycled plastics that were polluting the ocean into fancy footwear. Along with this, Adidas uses color technology that employs less chemicals, water and energy in the dyeing process.
Active sportswear brand Volcom’s PASS (product and social safety) program emphasizes the ethical sourcing of fibers around the world. Volcom’s sustainability expert Derek Sabori told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel that its Farm to Yarn system tracks fibers each step of the way from their origin to destination.
Quiksilver has started using Repreve sustainable recycled fabrics in its Highline collection of boardshorts and is looking for better ways to eco-design its products.
Nike (and subsidiary Hurley) recently announced its commitment to sustainability. New chief operating officer Erick Sprunk says, “There’s no innovation without sustainability.” Nike’s 2019 shoe collection utilizes recycled fibers and plant-based dyes to reduce its carbon footprint.
Outdoor company Patagonia has been a leader in sustainability for over two decades. It’s using recycled wool, down, nylon and polyester in its new line.
Eleven-time World Surfing Champion Kelly Slater, who’s always at the vanguard of change, got on board the sustainable fashion wave last year with his own surf brand Outerknown. “We launched Outerknown to change the game and create clothing that not only reflects our style, but also our values,” said Slater.
Just as the first rule of design has always been that form follows function, now there’s another rule: style follows sustainability.
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