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fashion week

DuPont Sustainable Fiber Hits Fashion Week Runway

fashion weekDuPont and the American Chemistry Council are among the organizations rolling out sustainable fabrics and initiatives during New York Fashion Week.

DuPont has collaborated with women’s fashion brand Cushnie et Ochs, which showcased conceptual designs made with DuPont Sorona fiber down its runway.

Sonora replaces a traditionally petrochemical-based ingredient with one made with a renewably sourced material. The production of Sorona fiber requires 30 percent less energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 63 percent compared to the production of an equal amount of nylon, DuPont says.

Meanwhile Plastics Make it Possible, an initiative sponsored by the American Chemistry Council, has partnered with New York fashion designer Allison Parris to debut a vending machine that allows consumers to “buy” a limited edition designer T-shirt made with recycled plastic fabric — using a plastic bottle as currency. To create the T-shirt material, plastic bottles are cleaned, melted and stretched into a fine thread, which then is woven into fabrics.

Anyone who deposits a plastic bottle into the machine, located south of Columbus Circle on 8th Avenue between 57th and 58th streets in New York City through Sept. 11, receives a T-shirt with an original design by Parris.

In other sustainable materials news, Nike, along with partners NASA, the US Agency for International Development and the US Department of State, have announced the top 10 Launch challenge innovators.

Earlier this year, the partners announced the sustainable materials challenge, which is part of the Launch initiative, started in 2010 by Nike, NASA, USAID and the Department of State to support innovative approaches to sustainability issues.

The top 10 innovators are: Ambercycle Recycling, Artificial Honey Bee Silks by Australia’s national science agency the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Barktex by Bark Cloth, Benign by Design by University of California at Santa Barbara, Biocouture, Blue Flower Initiative by Eileen Fisher, Flax Fibers by CRAiLAR, Geckskin by Felsuma, Mushroom Materials by Ecovative Design and Qmilk by Qmilch.

The innovations include bio-synthetic materials and open technology platforms that provide accessibility to data that improves the analysis of sustainability impacts. Ambercycle’s technology, for example, harnesses engineered enzymes to degrade plastic bottles, such as PET soda bottles, and transform them into purified terephthalic acid (PTA). PTA is the raw material in polyester, which is used in multiple products, from cars to clothing.

With Benign by Design — another top 10 innovation — a University of California at Santa Barbara team developed data collection and analysis protocols to help product manufacturers better evaluate the impact of materials they use through their entire lifecycle.

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