Munich Fabric Start’s Keyhouse has been home to some fashion tech superstars for the past three days. It was the perfect combination of function and textiles which enticed attendees, including Julia Birkenstock, who admitted to us, “I like the Keyhouse because this is the place to come and find fabric solutions.” She has an interest in sustainable concepts, so for her, the Keyhouse was the perfect place to come and sample a little bit of the future.
SUSTAINABLE FABRICS: Vivify
Day three was the perfect day for me to wander around the Keyhouse. I wanted to have a chat with the various brands exhibiting at the Keyhouse. One of the brands that caught me in its web was Vivify. Founded by Edwina Huang, Vivify is all about creating a closed loop system that offers customers a chance to recycle their fashion dead stocks or textile waste into new fibres and garments.
Winner of Munich Fabric Start’s Hightex Award, Vivify’s mission is to build a sustainable business model that is capable of helping companies and businesses reach and achieve their Corporate Social Responsibilities and Environmental Objectives. Through simplicity, innovation, creativity and customised solutions, Edwina believes that everyone should be able to benefit from sustainable fashion, “Hence why we are tasked to educate the possibilities that could lead to a wonderful future that we both can be a part of if we start to use sustainable fabrics NOW.”
DYEING SOLUTIONS: IndiDye
During a conversation about IndiDye with Theresa from Sourcebook, she uttered “These guys should be awarded the Noble Peace Prize.” So I headed over to the stand, where I was welcomed by two men from IndiDye. Martin Thorkildsen, the managing director, shared with me that their mission is to replace harmful components in manufacturing by processing with sustainable and responsibly made high-quality ingredients.
Offering a revolutionary alternative, IndiDye’s new dyeing solution is made up of 100% natural plant dyes. The secret to their process is the exposure to the ultrasonic pressure waves that push the colour pigments into the core of the fibre. “This is what gives the unique IndiDye colour fastness which has never been achieved with natural plant dyes before,” confessed Thorkildsen. Adding “Before we came up with this process, there was no way of achieving the colour fastness without adding chemical fixation agents.” The dyeing process also eliminates waste water and offers improved efficiency in energy and emissions.
DESIGN THINKING: The Digital Fashionboard
Fashion thrives on its staging, so when I spotted the Digital Fashionboard boldly displayed at the Keyhouse, I knew instantly that the future of design had arrived. Created to help to optimally present a digital garment from the beginning of the design process all the way to the store, the Fashionboard replaces the analogue Moodboard. With the ability to play a vital role in a brand’s design phase, the Digital Fashionboard enables thematic blocks with pictures, sketches or existing designs to be sent quickly through the Internet.
After having an in-depth chat with Sandra Stempfhuber from Assyst, she demonstrated how the 3D simulation software Vidya could be used on the Digital Fashionboard to give the coordination of drafts a new quality of efficiency. The unique direct connection between Vidya and PLM GoLive enables and assists the planning of stores and collections.
On their product, “We want to show how 3D can be used in the entire creation and sales process of fashion,” says Dr Andreas Seidl, CEO of the Human Solutions Group. “Simulating clothing three-dimensionally from an early stage creates clear advantages in product development – but the data can also be used in a wide variety of ways to stage fashion beyond the design process.”
Seeing is believing. ZSK showed off a functional embroidery machine that is capable of sewing sequins with LEDs directly onto fabrics and garments. The connection of the LED-sequin is made by embroidery of conductive threads. Although LEDs have limited functionality in textiles, it was great to see ZSK demonstrate an efficient approach to the manufacturing of light emitting textiles via embroidery technology.
For those not familiar with the company, ZSK has a history in textile engineering. Founded in 1984, the value sustainability and have profound expertise in embroidery machines. The Technical Embroidery Systems showcased at Munich Fabric Start’s Keyhouse showed off how it is capable of using new and innovative techniques to lay and fix different media on textile and flexible carrier material.
TEXTILE INNOVATION: MycoTEX
Rethinking the future of fashion, we were happy to see that Aniela Hoitink was showcasing her work as part of Sourcebook’s NextTex at Munich Fabric Start’s Keyhouse. Founder of NEFFA, she is a designer who has built a name for herself through her interdisciplinary way of working with technology and microbiology.
Introducing MycoTEX, a 100% biodegradable material based in mycelium, Aniela has managed to develop both a technology and a technique that allows her to not only create a sustainable fabric but to also produce a proof-of-concept prototype.
Grown in a lab, the creation of the MycoTEX material was done by using less water, no chemicals or pesticides. The best thing about Aniela’s new material is that after wearing the garment you can simply bury it in the ground and it will decompose. A great way to give back to nature.