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Trims Embrace Sustainable Materials and Aesthetics at Munich Fabric Start

Trims and labeling are part of fashion’s journey toward greater sustainability.

At Munich Fabric Start this week in Germany, trim suppliers provided inspiration that underscored the importance of sourcing upcycled and recycled components down to the last button. The trade show provided a guide that denoted products that were, among other qualities, animal friendly, chrome free, made from paper, recycled and traceable.

And companies for Spring/Summer 2021 are not trying to downplay the natural or recycled aspect of their material choices. Whereas trim suppliers would once try to mask recycled aspects of their designs, sustainability—the look—is now in vogue.

In an effort to visually communicate the sustainable attributes of garments, trim manufacturers promoted designs that delivered bold and clear messages with simple typefaces, stark color contrasts and materials that have a natural aspect.

Speckled recycled paper, cork and upcycled leather added a tactile appeal. Following jewelry trends, resin buttons and buckles brought an earthy element to trims. Meanwhile, phrases and images that relate to environmentalism have replaced the optimistic messages and statements about female empowerment that have trended for several seasons.

Trims, however, remain a playground for designers to experiment with novelty finishes and color.

Hints of ’60s mod peeked through as trim suppliers’ offered Bakelite-inspired buckles and buttons in vintage shades of orange and red. Details based on ’70s disco filtered into fashion, too. Iridescent fringe and ribbons and labels with metallic finishes added a luxe evening look. Combinations of red and blue (or sometimes teal) satisfied this season’s active and streetwear trim needs.

There was also a sense of comfort and softness. The backside of woven labels became a focal point, emphasizing the threads. Zipper tapes were updated in dusty hues of gray blue, seafood green and terracotta. Gray and silver accents complemented labels in rose and golden yellow tones.

And femininity was present. Buttons were decorated with vintage-inspired stones and filigree, while denim scraps added a crafty vibe to floral 3D appliqués.