The latest exciting materials innovations are happening in the development of substitute wools created by students from Columbia using hemp and coconut.The materials came out of a BioDesign Challenge put on by PETA and Stella McCartney…

Sustainability is a driver of innovation. Why? Because business needs to make constant adjustments and changes to products, services and they way they do business to keep pace with competitors who are all trying to get ahead. When looking for sustainability opportunities, few businesses ask , “Do we have the chance to do things differently?” Instead they seek improvements to technology and existing systems.

Ask the values based questions

What if a company were to change the assumptions about what materials they use to create products? And what if the decision is based on broader concerns, ones that incorporate non traditional business  considerations?  When Stella McCartney joined forces with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to host the Biodesign Challenge, she did so to with the hope to find alternatives to wool. Why? From McCartney’s perspective, the move is one for sustainability. Creating new materials that are created and sourced with nature as its guide, is ultimately more sustainable. Wool has inherent qualities prized by designers world wide.  Why not see if new materials could be developed that mimic wool’s qualities? The goal of PETA is to reduce reliance on animal based fibers used in fast fashion, clothing worn once and discarded.

Remember your buyers

Fashion companies are seeking material supplies that are products of a circular economy, one that emphasizes low impact supply chains and material reuse. The new wool-like fibers designed for the Biodesign Challenge represent the feedstock for a $2,560 trillion industry. Their largest body of buyers, Millennials and Generation Z, are increasingly making purchase decisions based on social and environmental impacts of brands. Companies that fail to a address innovation will find their market positions eroded. Sometimes all it takes is asking the right questions.

If your company needs helps with sustainability we can help.

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