It is often said in the world of fashion that fashion is “evolutionary, not revolutionary”—I agree with the statement that fashion is evolutionary, but only from a design and silhouette standpoint.
Today, the industry is truly revolutionary from a textile standpoint. It is therefore my opinion that the statement as written needs to have a new chapter added, where fashion becomes revolutionary and evolutionary at the same time, with textiles leading that revolution.
For those who have grown up in the fashion business, where fiber choice was limited to several mainstays—such as natural fibers like cotton, wool, linen, and silk and man-made fibers like polyester and nylon—it is refreshing to see what is happening through the use of technology and innovation in fiber and textile development.
It is not only a revolution in new fibers and fiber creation. Exciting strides have also been made in these mainstays that have excited fiber aficionados around the world. Through everything from the use of improved seed development to unique spinning, dyeing, and finishing techniques, the fibers and textiles of today are far more interesting than those of the past.
This revolution is being led by both traditional nontraditional fiber and textile companies. Traditionalists such as Cotton Incorporated, in conjunction with chemical and seed companies, are creating bug-tolerant strains of cotton while increasing staple length.
As for the nontraditional companies, they all have common traits: not traditional fiber and textile producers, technology-driven, venture capital-funded, new to the fashion industry, sustainable, and exciting to follow.