With a rising eco-friendly culture among consumers, it is proper to ask questions regarding the production of goods in this case for the fashion and textile industry.
We tend to infer that from the term eco-friendly some resulting ideas are associated with non-chemical, natural, organic, renewable, biodegradable, nonpolluting, green, among others. But then there is the question, what about the relation with robotics, nanotechnology, science and technology? For some consumers, the use of a merely natural process hand-made by an artisan in Perú or India implies sustainability.
This is not 100% cohesive with reality. In fact, Industrialization did improve the textile processes, helping the mass production madness that we are currently living. But it is also crucial for processes involving recycling, resource-saving or methods non-exposing to toxics.
We could notice the superiority of technological development that may resolve our concerns for safety and fair trade production in Sewbot. This machine reduces the quantity of labor equivalent to the sewing line of 10 workers. Of course, unemployment may imply a major social impact and also we should consider environmental concerns related to energy and waste.
In the cases of textiles, biodegradability is one way to go, but advancements in smart textiles, nano finishings and inks may provide long-lasting solutions, able to improve considerably not only dying properties, but sensory perception (surface designs, hand-feel, smell absorption properties, hydrophobic, hydrophilic), biocide protection, moisture control, antibacterial qualities, just to mention a few.
From a broad perspective, some of those processes result in long lasting quality products which may be even more sustainable than other short span products. This is a result of the amount of water or energy required to do this products over and over at a large scale. Some chemicals may help with water-free means of production. This is also sustainable.
Last but not least, robotics may be an alternative to circular economy or the massive burning of non-sold items. Small modifications or detailing may help with the fast modification of quality items that may qualify as another priceline for major brands.