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Textile Roundup: Stella McCartney Gets Cradle to Cradle Gold, Supreme Launches Volt Smart Yarns

Luxury brand Stella McCartney achieves gold status for its wool yarn, while Volt Smart Yarns raises the fabric IQ.

Cradle to Cradle

Stella McCartney’s dedication to sustainability and to promoting a more circular economy has led to her brand being awarded a Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold level certification for its wool yarn by the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute. The award is a fashion industry first.

Through the institute’s Cradle to Cradle product certification program, Stella McCartney has taken her commitment to sustainable design into action. The program helps the designer take her commitment a step further by creating opportunity for the brand to optimize ingredient materials and constructively engage the supply chain. The Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard also drives innovation and positive change for the brand and the fashion industry.

Stella McCartney has been a leading member of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Fashion Positive initiative since 2014. The initiative’s aim is to accelerate the fashion industry’s trajectory towards circular design through the collaborative development of circular building block materials.

[Read more about Fashion Positive: Fashion Positive Unveils Digital Tools for Circular Fashion]

The brand’s achievement marks the fashion industry’s first Gold level certification for wool yarn. Stella McCartney selected wool yarn as its first Cradle to Cradle Certified Gold level product because of the continuity of the material use in products from year to year, across categories and collections including men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and accessories. The designer developed the wool yarn in collaboration with long time supplier Zegna Baruffa and focused on optimizing the entire process, from avoiding the use of pesticides on the wool to optimizing the chemistry of the dyes, resulting in improving the health, safety and sustainability of the materials.

To achieve Cradle to Cradle certification, Stella McCartney worked with independent assessor Ignasi Cubina, co-founder and director of Barcelona-based Eco-Intelligent Growth, to promote dramatic change over time in the material health of the wool yarn from the start. Every step of the wool production was scrutinized, beginning with the strict selection of farmers and the avoidance of toxic pesticides, and the careful monitoring of the use of detergents, leveling agents, biocides and processing chemicals. As a result, more than 70 percent of the yarn’s chemistry was optimized.

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Annie Gullingsrud, director of textiles and apparel at the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, said, “Increasing the number of safe, circular building block materials within the fashion industry is crucial to realizing industrywide change in the way apparel and accessories are designed and made. Achieving Cradle to Cradle Certification at the Gold level for its wool yarn is a significant milestone for the entire fashion industry and proof that a commitment to improving the safety, health and circularity of the materials we use is well within reach.”

Supreme Corporation

Supreme Corporation has developed a highly conductive yarn for advanced smart fabrics called Volt Smart Yarns that the company said is capable of new levels of conductivity.

The Conover, North Carolina-based high-tech fiber and textiles manufacturer said the ultra-thin Volt Smart yarns are engineered for use with commercial sewing machines. The yarns can be woven or knitted into fabrics that heat, control switches and volume, interact with wireless technology and that can become sensors for impact and touch.

The company said the yarns are capable of sending power, ground and signals to make functional, wearable smart clothing.

Supreme is known for its high-performance, patent-protected yarns and personal safety apparel, notably in law enforcement gear. The privately held company holds 60 active patents in high-tech yarns and fabrics, from aramid yarns used in Kevlar and Nomex and Spectra yarns to fiberglass yarns and stainless-steel yarns in a range of deniers and colors.