A new year-long GROW exhibition focusing on biomaterials has opened at Amsterdam's Fashion for Good Museum.
From fruit skin fabric and mushroom ‘leather' to spider-silk and algae dye, the Grow Expo highlights a variety of innovations, designers, and brands that are reimagining the fabrics used in the famously polluting fashion industry.
Visitors will hear about the fast-growing movement of biomaterials in fashion, which businesses ranging from high street retailers to storied luxury houses have been eager to get in on in recent years, as well as see the materials up close - either by in-person appointment or virtually.
Visitors to the GROW expo are taken on a fascinating and rich tour through the exciting materials, innovations, designers, and brands that use biomaterials, learning about the differences and benefits of each material, what’s available today, and how the industry can improve by using better materials. At the expo, visitors can also purchase items.
The GROW expo demonstrates how trailblazing innovations can instead be inspired by nature, and how scientists are using this cycle of production and recreation to develop potential renewable materials.
Along with the conventional biomaterials such as organic cotton and biodegradable materials such as flax or hemp, the expo features more creative labels and items from pioneers such as Pangaia (available for the first time in a retail store in the Netherlands), FREITAG F-ABRIC, Phool, Bananatex, the Nude Label, and Bioglitz – with a special glitter stop, featured in the museum's GOOD SHOP.
At Fashion for Good, GROW kicks off a year of programming focused on biomaterials. Expo GROW investigates innovative fabrics, explains the need for organic and natural solutions to the latest plastic-based fibers and materials used in the apparel industry, and showcases upcoming developments.
Some biomaterials are still under production, although others are now commercially available. To further promote the industry's acceptance of these fabrics, Fashion for Good launched the GROW talent initiative, a 3-month program in which emerging designers and creative talent can collaborate with innovative biomaterials – never before used in a product – to produce futuristic apparel and stories. GROW 2.0, the exhibition (opening in October 2021) that will practically reveal what the future of fashion will look like, will eventually include these garments created by the talent.
Some of the brands participating in this exhibition include: Qwstion, a Swiss label, is highlighting its Bananatex bags made from banana plants; Pangaia- a materials science company showcasing seaweed and an antibacterial textile finishing treatment made with peppermint oil; Netherlands-based Freitag which is showcasing F-ABRIC, its sustainable, transparent and fully compostable clothing line made of the bast fibers hemp and flax, as well as beechwood modal.
The Nude Label, exhibiting its gender-neutral underwear fashion made from organic cotton; Phool, which makes charcoal-free incense and biodegradable packaging from floral waste from temples and mosques in India; and BioGlitz, which claims to be the world's first biodegradable glitter, are among the other brands at the exhibition.
Other innovators at the exhibition include Algaeing, Bolt Threads, Colorifix, Ecovative, Orange Fiber, Reuben Selby, Spiber x Goldwin, Galy, Spinnova, and Infinited Fiber Company.
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