Fabrics for a Greener Future: Top 6 Sustainable Innovations of 2024

Sustainability 6m read

Fabrics for a Greener Future: Top 6 Sustainable Innovations of 2024

Binh Ly Jul 06, 2024

Since the two pioneers Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez presented their cactus leather to the fashion world in 2020, it immediately started an eco game for textile companies to step up. From mushroom/apple/mango leather to seaweed fiber, we’ve seen a lot of sustainable innovations. In 2024, it can be said that the future of sustainable fabrics looks even brighter! These Top 6 innovations in fabric production are revolutionizing the industry, offering fashion brands exciting options for their next collections. Read on to find out.


1. Mirum by Natural Fiber Welding

Mirum is making waves as the world's first plastic-free leather alternative. This innovative material is crafted from a unique blend of plant-based oil, responsibly sourced natural rubber, minerals, and natural pigments. Its creators, Natural Fiber Welding, boast that Mirum is not only low-carbon but also possesses the potential to be circular, scalable, and customizable.

Despite its early stage, Mirum's future shines bright. A recent $160 million investment signifies strong industry confidence. Major brands like Ralph Lauren, Allbirds, and Stella McCartney have already embraced Mirum in their designs, and its applications extend beyond fashion – even appearing in automotive interiors. Further solidifying its potential, Natural Fiber Welding partnered with Swedish industrial giant IPCO in September 2023 to ramp up production.

Stella McCartney uses Mirum’s leather for their Falabella Tote Bag


2. Biosteel by AMSilk

This innovative material, crafted from spider silk proteins produced using eco-friendly bacteria, offers a unique proposition. AMSilk boasts that Biosteel is "thinner and more delicate than mulberry silk. Furthermore, similar to wool, the Biosteel fibers are able to absorb moisture and transport it to the outside, have anti-microbial properties, and are especially robust and well-tolerated by the skin.” 

Biosteel's versatility has already garnered attention from major brands. Adidas incorporated the fiber into a new trainer in 2016, and Omega followed suit in 2019 with a NATO watch strap. Beyond fashion, Mercedes and Airbus have explored its potential for non-apparel applications.

adidas Unveils World’s First Performance Shoe Made From Biosteel® Fiber. - adidasGroup.


3. Savian by BioFluff

Savian by BioFluff is impressing sustainability leaders like Ganni and LVMH. This collection of plant-based alternatives to fur and shearling uses European-sourced nettle, hemp, and flax, with some fibers even upcycled from agricultural waste. Their vegan and GMO-free materials are crafted in Italy using plant-based dyes. A recent collaboration with Stella McCartney showcasing a Savian fur coat at COP28 underlines the exciting potential of this sustainable luxury material.

COP28: BioFluff launches Savian in collaboration with Stella McCartney


4. FLWRDWN and FLWRFILL by Pangaia

FLWRDWN combines wildflowers, cellulosic aerogel, and a biopolymer made from corn or sugarcane. While FLWRFILL on the other hand, is a combination of wildflowers, lyocell, and a biopolymer developed in collaboration with Imbotex. Part of the FLWRDWN™ technology family, FLWRFILL™ offers a bio-based alternative to synthetic, fossil fuel-derived wadding—resulting in a warm and lightweight outerwear staple. With their down-like microstructure, these wildflowers become the key to warmth in this innovative material. Since 2020, FLWRDWN has graced Pangaia's outerwear and even found its way into collections by other brands like ME+EM. 

The power of flowers: Me + Em’s sustainable partnership with Pangaia. - Drapers.

5. Vegetable Cashmere by KD New York

In 2019, KD New York successfully crowdfunded their innovative Vegetable Cashmere fabric on Kickstarter. This sustainable alternative uses soy protein, derived from leftover tofu pulp, to create a luxurious material that rivals cashmere's look and feel.  But Vegetable Cashmere boasts additional benefits - it's machine-washable, moth-resistant, and even stronger than its animal counterpart. While currently exclusive to KD New York's designs, Vegetable Cashmere's success has sparked a rise in competitors offering alternative kinds of cashmere. This surge reflects a growing consumer interest in sustainable and cruelty-free fashion, making vegetable cashmere a promising material for the future.

KD New York designs using vegetable cashmere.


6. Bananatex by QWSTION

After 3 years of research and development, QWSTION unveiled a new material called Bananatex in 2018 which is the world’s first durable, technical fabric made purely from the naturally grown Abacá banana plants. Sustainably grown in the Philippines, these plants require minimal resources and even aid reforestation efforts. 

Bananatex® has won a variety of international sustainability and design awards such as the Green Product Award 2019, the Design Prize Switzerland Award 2019/20, the German Sustainability Award Design 2021 as well as the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Gold,  the most advanced standard globally for products that are safe, circular and responsibly made. 

This plant-based material is not only used in QWSTION clothes and accessories, but also in collaboration with other fashion brands such as Stella McCartney, COS, and H&M.

H&M x Bananatex - hm

Wrap Up,

The pace of innovation in sustainable fabrics is exhilarating. These advancements are not only minimizing fashion's environmental footprint, but they're also pushing the boundaries of design and performance. However, widespread adoption is key to maximizing this impact. We need more brands to embrace these materials, and for consumers to support sustainable choices.

For fashion brands, this might be a challenge because it requires a reliable and agile supply chain, which Inflow excels at. Our on-demand supply chain and manufacturing platform connects you with a global network of sustainable material suppliers and manufacturers, helping to reduce sourcing time and effort. Check out our approach to responsible manufacturing right away!

Read More: 

Fashion Production Sustainability: Revolutionizing The Industry Through Innovation And Responsibility

Embracing Conscious Consumerism In Fashion: A Path To Sustainability