Miroslava Duma Talks Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

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Image courtesy of Fashion Tech Lab

Miroslava Duma Talks Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

 

Buro 24/7 founder Miroslava Duma spoke with Marie Claire on the issue of sustainability in the fashion business. As an investor in the industry, Duma is launching Fashion Tech Lab, which is a venture capital fund and tech accelerator (with a pretty cool website). Duma’s goal is to connect fashion and design to engineering and science. “FTL bridges fashion and technology to help bring sustainable innovation out of labs, studios, and garages, and into the hands of consumers,” Duma told Marie Claire in the recent interview.

Noting that the fashion industry’s pollution is second only to the oil industry, Duma revealed her motives for starting FTL. “I’ve been following what Elon Musk has done with Tesla in the renewable-energy space and disrupting the automotive industry,” Duma explained. “I wanted to find a similar way to create change within my industry. FTL bridges fashion and technology to help bring sustainable innovation out of labs, studios, and garages, and into the hands of consumers.”

These consumers include millennials, one-third of whom are more likely to buy from socially-conscious companies according to Duma. One area the entrepreneur is especially excited about advances in replacing leather – one of the most polluting aspects of the fashion industry.

“There are so many promising things happening. Scientists can create leather out of things like grapes [using the wasted skins and stems from winemaking] and mushrooms [toxin-free and similar in texture to suede],” Duma went on. “An initiative called Orange Fiber makes sustainable textiles out of 700,000 tons of citrus by-products discarded in Italy every year. We’re also working with a company that developed a way to grow cruelty-free leather and fur using biotechnology to produce compounds naturally found in animal skin.”

Clothing waste is the main issue Duma believes is facing the industry, citing the massive amounts thrown away – over 21 billion pounds each year. “One solution is upcycling— turning discarded scrap fabric into new product,” Duma told the publication. “It eliminates textile waste and reduces the use of color dyes and virgin resources. Seventy million pounds of chemical dye is used globally to color the clothes that we wear, which requires massive amounts of water [according to the World Wildlife Fund, jeans and a T-shirt alone can use more than 5,300 gallons!].”

It will certainly be exciting to see the ventures and innovations that will come out of the Fashion Tech Lab To in the coming months and years. To read the full interview, go to the Marie Claire website. 

 

Miroslava Duma Talks Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

Lillie

Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.


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