What is the future of the fashion industry? I see a future where we combine both new and old sustainable fashion principles and practices. While we are already seeing a revert back to tailored and vintage clothing, there is also an emergence of new technologies that aim to ‘enhance’ our clothing. For instance, I have already introduced Catalytic Clothing in a previous blog post which is a radical project seeking to explore how clothing and textiles can be used as a catalytic surface to purify our air.
Always on the lookout for ground breaking fashion innovations that could act as a catalyst to potentially tranform the industry to sustainability, I recently became aware of another scientific discovery which has the potential to drastically reduce the environmental impact of our clothing. After my sustainable fashion presentation in Jakarta, researcher Aditya Dharmawan approached me to share his research on an additive which transforms clothing to be self-cleaning and self-sterilizing.
Dharmawan explained that this additive called Titanium Dioxide (TIO2) targets stains, dirt, sweat, body odor, bacteria, viruses and germs. Using photocatalysts in a process of oxification, TIO2 eliminates these nasties for approximately a whole week of continuous wear. At the start of January Dharmawan will develop his research further, by adding silver to the chemicals so the cleaning process will be faster, since silver has germ-killing property. Being a chemical I was instantly concerned that it may be hazardous to humans and the planet, but Dharmawan simply smiled and told me that it’s so safe that you can drink it! Below are some examples of TIO2 in action on oil spills.