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A study on the development of sustainable organic clothing for women’s wear using natural fibres with specific focus on product serviceability

Prendergast, J and Venkatraman, PD (2012) A study on the development of sustainable organic clothing for women’s wear using natural fibres with specific focus on product serviceability. In: 14th Annual conference of the International Fashion Foundation Institute (IFFTI).

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Abstract

Organic natural fibres have shown potential for women’s wear products. A recent research (Niinimaki, 2010) highlighted that performance; durability and longevity of products made from natural fibres were some of the concerns for eco-conscious consumers. Organic natural fibres have less impact on environment and ecosystem and garments made of such materials were expensive compared to synthetic fibres due to its eco credentials. However, consumers were aware that man-made fibres in comparison to natural fibres outperform in areas relating to care, maintenance and durability. According to Ticolau (2010) and Gam (2011) eco-conscious consumers evaluate the cost of any garment against its durability and performance and expect garments produced from natural fibres superior to man-made garments. Majumdar et al, (2010) explored the functional properties of natural fibres, where organic fibres were made into knitted fabrics and assessed both comfort and durability. The above study successfully produced fabrics with low heat loss properties and better comfort value but the durability of the fabric was not reported. As highlighted by Gam (2010), the fabric was an important factor in the purchase of eco-friendly clothing but consumers require product serviceability qualities, such as strong aesthetic appeal, performance and comfort; which many eco-friendly garments do not provide. Previous research also highlighted that natural fibre blends like cotton, bamboo and banana leaf fibres in garments. In this study, the authors report the significance of organic sustainable clothing for women’s wear particularly in the UK, in the context of the current trend, design and pattern. Based on the recent explorations on silk and other organic fibre blends with its collaborators, the authors highlight the potential commercial opportunities in the UK in the context of the women’s wear market promoting eco-friendly and sustainable fashionable clothing which meets various pre-requisites such as durability, care and maintenance and comfort.

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