Eco-friendly fabrics made from recycled materials increasingly appeal environmentally aware consumers. Although it costs more money to make them, a growing number of manufacturers are betting on the potential of the materials.
Nike recently launched the Nike Forward line of sportswear made from recycled plastic. "By using waste plastic instead of fabric, we reduced carbon emissions by up to 75 percent," it claimed. "Due to the use of plastic materials, the apparel dries faster and does not need to be washed so often, which also makes it environmentally friendly."
Samsung C&T's fashion division is selling clothes made from recycled materials like plastic bottles and rags at its Beanpole shops this autumn. Until now it was sold only online and in small portions.
A Samsung C&T staffer said, "There has been an increase in consumers in their 20s and 30s who prefer eco-friendly clothes, so we decided to sell them in offline shops as well. We also lowered prices by around 20 percent to promote their eco-friendliness."
Outdoor apparel maker Blackyak plans to boost the use of recycled fabric to around 50 percent by next year. It invented an eco-friendly fabric from eucalyptus pulp. "We will increase spending every year to develop new materials and meet the growing trend," a staffer said.
Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M has promised to make all its clothes from eco-friendly and recycled materials by 2030, while sports brand Adidas will follow suit from 2024.
English fashion designer Stella McCartney joined hands with U.S.-based alternative leather maker Bolt Thread in July of this year and came out with a new collection of products.
MycoWorks, a U.S. company specializing in biotechnology, manufactures alternative leather from mushroom mycelium. Early this year, SK Networks invested US$20 million in MycoWorks, and Hermes already uses its products.
U.K. company Ananas Anam makes alternative leather from pineapple fiber, which is used by Hugo Boss and Tesla. A fashion industry source said, "Advances in dying and manufacturing technology are broadening the lineup of fashion products from eco-friendly materials."