“The dream starts with fabric”

Material innovations: where we are and where we’re heading.

No part of the fashion business is as exciting as the future of its fabrics. The material innovation coming out of universities, laboratories and factori­­­es around the world is a fascinating mixture of future tech and traditional craft. The industry is headlong into an exciting new phase and Nanushka is at the forefront.

“We’re working on lots of innovations,” says Sourcing Director, Mario Arena. “We’re always thinking, ‘How can we make it more modern, new and sustainable?’ Sometimes it’s the little things that we try and make from recycled materials that add another layer of excitement.”

Nanushka started pushing the use of new materials with our cruelty-free vegan leather (which will soon be even more sustainable with a new recycled PU backing) and the newly launched eyewear collection, which comprises recycled acetate frames, bio lenses created from castor oil and pouches crafted from deadstock. And yet, Mario continues, “the really exciting stuff is still to come.”

Since material innovation is such a long-term process, much of it is still in development, but Mario reveals that upcoming collections are full of hydro-cottons, Econyl (regenerated nylon) and recycled, traceable wools, polyesters and Dribbled Ribbon. “Recycled materials are becoming more and more luxurious,” he explains. “Even five years ago, the hand-feel quality of a lot of recycled materials was quite rough and coarse, whereas now they're becoming delicate and soft.”

Though Nanushka’s material innovation isn’t just about the current composition of the fabrics or exploring future-facing cactus or mushroom leather – it's also about manipulating existing fabrics with new and rediscovered techniques. “We take a lot of fabrics and stretch them beyond their traditional uses,” says Mario. “That's where Nanushka is so strong – making materials do things that they wouldn't traditionally be doing. Fabric interests me because that's where the ideas come from. You see it and you see something in it. It’s how we take craftsmanship and heritage techniques and put them through a modern lens. The dream starts with fabric. ”