Advertorial presented in collaboration with Ultrafabrics
As international fashion events such as Helsinki Fashion Week are refusing to show leather on the catwalks and Fashion Week is targeted with anti-leather protests, it seems like the fur debate is over – the next big issue in fashion is leather. The fashion industry is turning to new suppliers who are offering varied, sophisticated and durable alternatives to animal skins and toxic synthetics such as PVC.
One of these suppliers is Ultrafabrics – already working in a variety of industries, the PU specialist is now branching out into fashion.
What makes PU more eco-friendly than PVC? Many fewer toxic chemicals are used in the making of PU than PVC – a fabric that Greenpeace calls “the single most environmentally damaging type of plastic.” PU is also more breathable than PVC – but it isn’t toxin-free, and like PVC, PU is also made from fossil-derived plastic polymers. So while it’s impossible to claim that PU is a 100% eco-friendly material, it’s safe to say that it’s a much more planet-friendly (or less planet-harmful, at least) choice than PVC.
Ultrafabrics’ expertise has been widely used in markets such as aviation, hospitality and healthcare – vegan leather tends to show up in many areas of human life! – but now, with the most recent Helsinki Fashion Week, the supplier has found its place in the fashion industry as well. During the 2019 event, Ultrafabrics was present at the BioPlayground, a space for exhibiting new materials. Ultrafabrics was also seen on the catwalk as part of Austrian designer Shoehei’s sleek, contemporary collection.
But this innovative company is not only a PU expert: their range that incorporates bio-based materials is now on its way, which will further add to its eco credentials. The collection, titled Ultraleather Volar Bio, will be launched on 30th September.
Committed to reducing its dependency on finite resources, Ultrafabrics has used innovative research to create a collection that incorporates renewable plant-based materials such as wood pulp and corn-based fibres. The company’s goal is to include bio-based and/or recycled materials into 50% of new product launches. By 2030, that goal will increase to 100%.
“As the leader of high-performance fabrics, we have to answer the future needs of our customers,” says Toyohiko Nakagawa, Director of Ultrafabrics Holdings and President of Daiichi Kasei Co. Ltd. (DKK), the division responsible for manufacturing and engineering. “Over 4 years ago we partnered with a boutique supplier and challenged them to create custom naturally derived ingredients that would improve our sustainability profile without sacrificing the renowned aesthetics and durability of Ultrafabrics. We are pleased with the final product and look forward to upholding our commitment to a greener future while moving our product category in a new direction.”
Today, Ultrafabrics supplies a myriad of industries – and now, fashion and interiors are added to the long list of areas that use animal-free materials, which points to a larger shift going on in industries everywhere: one that points to a preference for resistant, durable and stylish animal-free fabrics.
All photos courtesy of Ultrafabrics