Founder & Director The Sustainable Angle
8th Future Fabric Expo in Jan 2019 to be much bigger
The Sustainable Angle is a not-for-profit organisation set up in Switzerland, which initiates and supports projects that contribute to lowering the environmental impact of industry and society, mainly in the fashion industry. Founder and director Nina Marenzi converses with Fibre2Fashion about its key project-Future Fabrics Expo, alternate fibres and innovations in sustainable textiles.
How and when did you start The Sustainable Angle?
We began The Sustainable Angle in 2010 and I started it because a platform to connect sustainable materials of suppliers, mills and innovators with the fashion industry was lacking. I created the non-profit organisation to not just focus on fabrics but to support initiatives that help reduce environmental impact. Future Fabrics Expo is our main project. We provide a lot of educational information on materials with a lower environmental footprint alongside the showcase of fabrics and leathers. All sustainable materials still require to be explained so that brands, designers and sourcing teams understand in what way these materials are more sustainable.
What kinds of advisory services do you offer?
We provide a lot of services to brands. We help their teams understand in what ways sustainable materials help them future-proof their business and move away from, for example, conventional cotton and virgin polyester. These services are for brands seeking more information on the fabrics displayed at the expo. We conduct tactile workshops or bring fabrics to brief the team at a brand's headquarters. We do that between the annual expos. We basically can bring an edited version of the expo to help companies and brands source sustainable materials but also explain the differences, what is truly sustainable and what is 'greenwashing'. We also provide direct access to material suppliers.
What is the process of gathering information?
We gather information through research; we have teams that visit companies and fairs all over the world. But we also have a lot of companies approaching us directly as they see that we are the ideal platform to showcase their products and we are the only dedicated showcase for sustainable materials.
Which major brands utilise your services? Which geographies do most of your clients hail from?
It would be safe to say that a good part of the brands that you find in leading fashion magazines attend our expo, our master classes, workshops and would have booked to show them a curated collection of sustainable materials. From high street labels to start-ups, and from premium luxury to sustainable brands, we have clients from different parts of the world. Geographically, we mainly have European and a few American brands as our clients.
Which major projects are you currently supporting and how?
The 8th Future Fabric Expo is scheduled for January 24-25, 2019. It is going to be the biggest one yet and will be held in an area of 20,000 sq ft, three times the size that we have ever been. We were so packed the last time that we had to make it bigger. We will be holding our popular seminars that can accommodate 150 people, which earlier used to be just 30-50. For the first time, we will have a circle of manufacturers and certifiers as well. We have a huge Innovation Hub, where Fashion for Good, a global initiative by C&A Foundation, is cooperating with us. The Innovation Hub is much bigger than what it used to be. We have some extremely progressive and pioneering brands. In the mean time, we will be participating in the Textile Exchange Milano conference. We were also at the London Textile Fair a few months back and it was the first time sustainable materials were presented there in such a curated way. Being a non-profit, our initiatives push the fashion industry towards a more responsible future based on safer and renewable materials with lower environmental impact.
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