There is a general lack of information on chemicals in textiles. Finnish companies buying fabrics outside the country may not know what chemicals have been used in the production of the fabric and the presence of these chemicals in the finished fabric. There may not be enough information about the release of these chemicals in different life cycle stages of textiles.
At Helsinki Fashion Week 22.-26.7.2017


Bioplastics are made (usually) from plant materials.They are good for the environment because there is no harm done to the earth when recovering fossil fuels. Also, in this process there are very few greenhouse gas and harmful carbon emissions. Regular plastics need oil for their manufacturing, which pollutes the environment.
The bioplastic market is expanding rapidly and by 2030, according to some estimates, could account for 10% of the total plastics market.
Read more here
More chemical pesticides are used for cotton than for any other crop. Cotton accounts for 16 percent of global insecticide releases. 60 percent of the world’s cotton is used for clothing and another 35 percent for home furnishing.
The use of hazardous pesticides during cotton production can also be detected in various pieces of clothing made from cotton.
Read more here
While most of us are used to fungi as food, many designers have turned to mycelium, the vegetative part of a fungus (basically the roots of a mushroom) for use as fiber. The latest designer to make waves is Aniela Hoitink.
Read more here
Spider silk is a miracle material that could create super-strong fabrics — but it’s also extremely hard to make. Spiders make silk by secreting a protein solution through a narrow duct. As the solution goes through the duct, the pressure makes the proteins link together to make the silk fiber.
For the study published today in the journal Nature Chemical Biology, researchers designed a machine that does the same thing using a combination of two natural spider proteins. The resulting material is the strongest artificial spider silk yet. It’s almost as good as the real thing, it’s biodegradable, and it’s pretty cheap to make.
Acrylic is another fiber manufactured with a combination of toxic substances and it is pointed as one of the causes of women’s breast cancer. Besides that, Acrylic’s manufacturing process, if not properly monitored can result in an explosion.
Acrylic fibers are highly inflammable and not easy recyclable nor biodegradable in the environment.
Vinyl acetate
Read more here
A new report released in Europe found that fur is more harmful to the environment than any other material studied -- including polyester. Fur coats, like other animal skins, are loaded with chemicals to keep them from decomposing in the buyer's closet.
The laundry list of chemicals used during the dressing process includes
Sulfuric acid
Read more here



Further reading

Cotton farming
Environmental and Social Impact of Cotton Cultivation and Use

Microfiber pollution and the apparel industry
Accumulation of Microplastic on Shorelines Woldwide: Sources and Sinks

Textile Dyes: Dyeing Process and Environmental Impact

The Impacts of Fur Production on theEnvironment and the Risks to Human Health
The environmental impact of fur farming

Bioplastics and their role in achieving global sustainability
What are bioplastics?

Toward spinning artificial spider silk
Green method developed for making artificial spider silk
TUM spin-off AMSilk presents first artificial spider silk fibers

New textiles grows from mushroom
The Next Leather Jacket Will Be Made From Mushrooms

About the project

Create The Formula
Helsinki Fashion Week – Amos Anderson taidemuseo
22.7.2017 – 26.7.2017
Create The Formula installation opens up, in a playful manner, to Helsinki Fashion Week visitors some of the processes behind the materials the textile industry uses.
The installation brings together code, chemistry and moving images to throw some light on the processes by which the materials used by the textile industry are created. Clothes are too often bought and used without any knowledge of or accounting for the chemical compounds they contain or their impact on the environment.
The Formula of Fashion installation and website makes visible data related to e.g. cotton as well as fur and presents more ecological alternatives like the fungus-based mycelium. In the installation up on the top floor of the museum, sensors follow visitors’ movements in real time. Code is used to transform the movements into a dance of microplastics and the final result is projected onto the wall. The piece makes the impact visible, but doesn’t judge. Decisions are left to the consumer.

Experience Create The Formula in Amos Anderson’s attic in conjunction with Helsinki Fashion Week’s fashion shows 22.7.-26.7.

About Futurice

About Futurice: Futurice is a fast-growing international company that designs and creates innovative digital services for companies across a wide variety of industries ranging from energy and construction to media and automotive. Since 2000, Futurice has helped clients to develop their own business practices and culture to meet the challenges of digital transformation. Futurice employs 400 people and has offices in Berlin, Helsinki, London, Munich, Stockholm and Tampere.