Recycle & Regenerate: Fashion Textile Trends AW 22/23
Trend forecasters at the leading textile trade show Premiere Vision cite ‘comfort’ as the watchword for AW 22/23 and this is certainly reflected in the fabrics and styles coming through. Evolving from this winter’s bestsellers the AW 22/23 season reflects an increased appetite for recycled materials and natural fibers such as innovative biopolymers. Here we take a look at some of the key trends…
Recycled & Reused
Commercial High Street brands have already begun to add recycled fibers to their offer and the use of recycled wool, cotton and polyester is set to increase as the year unfolds. These reused fibers can be implemented across a broad range of garment styles, and for outerwear in particular, used both for the outer and inner layers. For example synthetic puffer jackets made from plastic PET bottles with recycled-material down-fillings. Circularity is on the rise as brands address and implement new ways to reuse what would otherwise be landfill materials.
Practical and cosy fleece has undergone a serious style rehaul, from what was once looked upon as highly unfashionable the material has now been reworked into on-trend shapes such as aviator style jackets to oversized hoodies and sweatshirts. The pandemic saw a huge rise in comfort and loungewear and this combination of style and practically is set to continue.
While designers tweak silhouettes, colour palettes and styling details, textile innovators are creating that warm, teddy-bear feel with the likes of recycled polyester or wool, as well as using double-sided fabric blends such as cotton and TENCEL™ Lyocell fibers, which not only tick those sustainability boxes but provide excellent moisture management and gentleness.
With environmental concerns high on the agenda the emphasis is on recycled with a noticeable increase in the use of Polartec fleece. This supplier has been increasing the amount of recycled material in their fleece for several years and has committed to providing 100% recycled across all the types of fleece they manufacture.
Ramp Up the Volume
From puffer jackets and coats to quilted separates, this padded fabric is being reworked to gain broader appeal. 2021 saw the rise of the oversized quilted coat giving the appearance of being wrapped up in a duvet. This experimentation with quilting will continue to evolve with overstitching effects such as circles, curves and zig-zags in unexpected fabrics such as tweeds, knit, matt and gloss finishes. Moving forward brands are looking to produce insulated outwear that is both sustainable and cruelty-free, as a result more quilted fabrics are down-free, and instead of feathers use recycled synthetics to maintain those all important insulating qualities.
Moving into AW 22/23 quilted textiles remain prevalent with low density, refined options being worked into tailoring and chic materials such as faux-fur, jacquards, silks and satins. Crossing several key markets quilting is also popular in the sports and tech sector. Here they have been developed to create 3D effects, embossing and surface interest. In terms of fabric composition development shows a concerted effect to move away from the release of dangerous micro plastics, this has resulted in knits and wovens created from bio-sourced components from the agri-food industry. While extraction and polymerisation processes have enabled more of the naturally renewable textiles to become readily available the aim is to further replace the use of petrochemicals within the next few years.
Versatile and natural, cotton has been long established in fashion and textiles markets and yet its high reliance on water and chemicals pushes its eco reputation to an undesirable level. Organic cotton has since become a green way forward, however it has been slow to scale up which has led textiles producers to pay keen attention to soil and crop growing practices. Now leading sportswear brands are already taking up ‘regenerative cottons’ that actually improve natural resources, such as enhancing nutrient levels in soil which can help draw off carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Look out for ‘regenerative cotton’ in the denim and sportswear sectors, and as a textile blend, with the likes of TENCEL™ Lyocell for a softer, fluid feel in the loungewear market. Here tracksuits and sweatshirts will loose their classic ribbed cuffs and gain sharper elements such as pleats and turn-ups smartening up the relaxed staple.
Traditional woollen fabrics such as tweeds, herringbones and checks are being reworked into new blends that combine eco-recycled cellulose fibres for a new take on timeless, luxury tailoring. New for the season these double-sided enlarged weave fabrics are ideal to create contrasting belts, cuffs and collars. Clean-cut and structured shapes include double-breasted jackets and straight-leg trousers.
Natural fibers such as alpaca, wool and linen are combined with recycled threads to add flecks of shine and colour in this nod to the past. Elsewhere fluidity comes to the fore with tailored items blended with viscose to achieve a softer, feminine silhouette that feels tactile and comforting.
Comfort may well be the watchword for the AW 22/23 season but as these emerging trends reveal – recycled, regenerative and reworked follow closely behind, not forgetting to mention, a good dose of technical innovation.