For Nina Faulhaber, co-founder of Aday, the “clothing of the future” should take materials that have been developed with special characteristics and combined with a new approach to how people dress.
“We use intelligent fabrics,” Faulhaber explained at the Glossy Forum in New York City Tuesday. “Our textiles are breathable and sweat-wicking. And say goodbye to dry clean-only.”
Faulhaber said consumers today want to make an investment in their clothing that has staying power and is performance driven.
“And consumers are making choices that have more positive impact on the world,” she said. “When we think about the clothing if the future, it has to be sustainable, it has to be useful and it should be comfortable.”
She said Aday, launched by Meg He and Faulhaber in 2015, is based on “conscious design,” where fabrics choices are made for reasons other than just aesthetics. They call it “technical clothing for everyday life.” The e-commerce operation also has a store on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan.
Key fiber and fabrics elements and qualities that allow for more durable and sustainable clothing include four-way stretch, moisture wicking, pilling resistance, quick drying and lightweight. They should have breathability, be dry fast and have warming or cooling abilities, all of which lead to a more flexible wardrobe, Faulhaber said. They should also be tested for performance in areas such as longevity, durability and how they hold up to washing, which should include the ability to be cold washed for energy savings.
Elements such as wrinkle free, which Faulhaber demonstrated with a blouse she was wearing, and machine washable are also important for cost savings and environmental reasons.
[Read more about technology driven design: American Giant, Carrefour Focus on Textile Technology for New Product Rollouts]
Aday also believes in using recycled fabrics, fiber and yarns that have become more readily available.
“Anyone that works in design, I recommend recycled materials because there are really cool things being done that can replace traditional fabrics and are better for the environment,” she said. “These products also resonate with consumers today that have a greater awareness of environmental issues.”
She also noted a range of natural materials such as pineapples and mushrooms being made into leather-like materials.
On the manufacturing side, Aday stresses the importance of factories–Aday manufactures in Italy, Portugal and Los Angeles–becoming more energy efficient through the use of solar power, and closed-loop facilities that recycle waste materials and energy.