Last year, Helsinki Fashion Week took the world by storm as the first fashion week to ban leather. This July, the progressive, Scandinavian event returned to Finland with a brand-new partner – Tarrytown’s own Ultrafabrics.
As a forward-thinking, animal-free performance fabric manufacturer, the ethos of the brand fits seamlessly into the fashion week’s mission. Ultrafabrics moves beyond conventional fabric production, leveraging its proprietary Japanese production, Takumi™ Technology, without compromising on aesthetics, performance or durability.
During the show, Austrian fashion design house SHOHEI featured trousers with zippers, a kimono style jacket, a skirt and crop top made from Ultrafabrics’ Ultratech™| Cove -Black Swan, on the runway. SHOHEI’s designs combine European taste with Japanese sensibility using natural materials and smart fabrics, such as those from Ultrafabrics.
Ultrafabrics exhibited in the BioPlayground, a material exhibition platform that inspires out-of-the box thinking and re-imagines the norms in material processing and supply chains during Helsinki Fashion Week.
As a supplier for a host of industries, Ultrafabrics highlighted its versatility and suitability for a variety of applications, including multifunctional apparel and accessories in the fashion industry as well as furniture applications. The stand showcased products made using Ultrafabrics from fashion designers including Jerry Wu, Nagina UK, Laura Bilgin and Aritzia. The fabrics were also displayed on a pair of Danish made, Fredericia lounge chairs and an ottoman.
The Ultrafabrics installation was home to luxury accessory brand V BY TOWNSLEY’s debut collection of cruelty-free vegan leather bags. The entire collection, handcrafted in Italy, was made using Ultrafabrics’ animal-free textiles, achieving the aesthetic, feel and performance qualities of genuine leather without the associated impact on animals or the environment. The fabric was chosen for the collection because of its combination of engineered strength and durability and its soft, subtle aesthetic. The bags are available in four styles and a variety of bold colours – graphite grey, pecan tan, wine red and lagoon blue.
The pioneering fashion week addressed the big questions surrounding the relationship between sustainability and fashion through its talks program. Director of Branding at Ultrafabrics, Nicole Meier, joined a panel, along with Thomas Rohr, Head of Materials Processes as the European Space Agency, Géza Szilvay, Senior Researcher at VTT and moderated by Kutay Saritosun, Director of Fashion Brands at Bluesign, to discuss ‘Scenarios of Interdisciplinary Material Innovation’. The panel explored the major challenges that innovations have tackled and have potential to solve in the future.
“With such a diverse panel, I really enjoyed finding out how we are all addressing the same issue from such different viewpoints,” said Meier. “It is really exciting to see how innovation of materials can be a step towards solving problems we are facing today.”
“Fashion has inspired us to solve global scale challenges. We are questioning everything, prioritizing our individual well-being, starting from our inner conflicts to solve the collective challenges surrounding social sustainability. Choosing Ultrafabrics to sponsor this year’s show seems the obvious choice as they are pioneers in the world of animal-free luxury materials and are now turning their attention towards how to be increasingly sustainable,” comments Evelyn Mora, Founder of Helsinki Fashion Week.
The 2019 edition of Helsinki Fashion Week handed the runway over to twenty fashion shows, showcasing sustainable designers and brands from around the globe. The designers were selected based on their resource efficiency and innovative material sourcing.