Behind the scenes of Näytös 23.

Issues of the fashion industry are widely recognised – but what could we actually do for those?

Behind the scenes of Näytös 23.
Photo: Janne Punkari

We should shift our entire mindsets about fashion production and consumption.

What kind of role fashion has in our lives? What do we value? How do we produce and what we produce?

Lupine and a piece of lupine-based fabric.
Photo: Anne Kinnunen

Currently, textile production relies on resources like cotton: thirsty for water, pesticides and human labour.

Solutions might be closer than we think.

We could utilise locally available, abundant plants

that grow even when we try to get rid of them.

Take lupine, for example.

It is an invasive perennial plant that spreads explosively and suffocates local species. But it can also be used to create stunning, texture-rich fibre and fabric.

A seaweed hat.
Photo: Mitja Harvilahti

Or green algae, a local species growing near the shorelines of the Baltic sea – but growing more and more because of the eutrophication.

Could we see the surrounding flora and fauna in a new light and find value and possibilities in unseen places?

A book and textile fibre made out of books.
Photo: Anne Kinnunen

To create new, we should also utilise old, like recycled textiles – or even old books.

The variety of alternative materials is extensive, from cellulosic to lignin, oat, beans – you name it.

All of these different possibilities also highlight the natural characteristics and potential of the resources.

So in addition to looking for less harmful solutions for textile productions, the current research is also exploring the yet unseen possibilities that new materials could bring along.

Samples of digitally printed textiles.
Photo: Nora Bremer

Compared to conventional printing methods,

digital textile printing uses less water, dyes and chemicals.

Digitally printed textile samples.
Photo: Nora Bremer

Digital textile printing can be utilised to print on recycled or upcycled materials, but that's not all.

It can also mimic the visual effects of more harmful or complex printing and manufacturing methods or excessibe yarn material use.

Students in the digital textile printing workshop.
Photo: Nora Bremer

New methods almost always require new mindsets too.

We cannot expect to make a change if we don't change too.

We should respect the materials.

Instead of starting with an idea of what we want to create, we should start with material and imagine what we could create.