Innovation in design has been at its highest in the last couple of decades, with technology making virtually anything possible. While consumerism has made people buy things they don't need and often don't last, I'm glad to see that the trend is changing. I started my brand to help take fashion in the direction it should go, toward a sustainable future that is better for us and the planet. I resonate deeply with this description of innovative design:
Innovation is about that exactly - how does it positively impact our life. It should be less about owning the latest fad and more about deriving the right kind of value. Buy something because it makes your life easier while making positive impact on the environment. Here are a few of my favorite brands that are using innovative designs to make such positive impact in our life and environment:
Miki Agrawal and her sister Radha reimagined feminine hygiene products to provide support, comfort, confidence, and peace of mind, and aim to eliminate shame, empowering women and girls around the world.
Their panties are moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, absorbent, and leak-resistant. We cannot ask for a better companion during those few uncomfortable days of the month. Just imagining all the money I could have saved on buying hygiene products if I had their products earlier, and all the resources that could have been saved producing them!
Mary Arnett, my fellow member of the United Women in Business Foundation, started Ssh-oes.
The ssh-oes have a non-slip, sound absorbing rubber outsole and a patent pending noise reducing heel lift so, they do not make as much noise when you walk. Their patent pending heel lift also prevents against wear and tear and acts as a shock absorber to make the ssh-oe even more comfortable.
In addition to not making noise, they are incredibly comfortable! They are cushioned with memory foam and have a lycra and leather lining to make the shoe as blister free as possible. Ssh-oes are fit tested on real sized women so you’re getting something that you can actually wear and enjoy without all the pain usually associated with heels.
We hope you will be seen for your presence and not heard by your clicking. And we are also helping to making a quieter and more peaceful environment when wearing these shoes.
Swiss brand Freitag makes super durable and stylish bags that are also 100% biodegradable.
The durable fabric that they use for the bags are made with bast and modal fibers that needs much less water to produce, and since all materials and assembly of the finished bags are done locally in Zurich, the whole production leaves minimum environmental footprint. And the best part is, when they bags are finally worn out after many years, they will biodegrade completely within a few months in a ordinary home or garden compost. That means a Freitag bag eventually becomes fertile soil for new raw materials and the cycle continues.
F-ABRIC was tested by the F-Crew for several months to prove its toughness, comfort, partying-ability and other qualities. The results? Very wearable!
We have to say, these bags are the epitome of style, function and eco-friendliness.
Brooklyn based company Modern Meadow creates cruelty-free skins from a tissue-engineering technique called “biofabrication.” The process would produce a material that mimics the properties of leather more convincingly than the vegan, synthetic options currently on the market. If you like the look and feel of leather but don't want animals to be killed for fashion, this is the way to go.
Nervous System combines scientific research, computer graphics, mathematics, and digital fabrication to explore a new paradigm of product design and manufacture. They created a process through which you can print a dress and wear it straight out of the machine. Though such printed dress is not being mass produced yet, in the near future this will become more main stream where creators and makers can easily create their own garments using this system. Also the process of printing a dress eliminates the waste that is part of the regular garment manufacturing process where shaped pieces of a garments need to be cut off a square piece of fabric.
Scough is made from the same materials the Ministry of Defense uses for chemical warfare. It’s for people who are serious about protecting themselves and others. It's a mini-microclimate of freshened air that’s not just a barrier to a harsh germ and pollution-filled world, but is shown to adsorb and kill viruses and pollution before you breathe it.
Last week IVY Magazine interviewed me about my brand and my vision for a more sustainable and functional future for fashion. I've had a long standing relationship with IVY Connect ever since I was selected as a finalist for their Innovator Award for Design in 2014. Being the only Fashion brand in the finals was something to be proud of but being in the same league as other driven, brilliant innovators was a great honor.