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Chanel rejects synthetic chemicals in switch to eco-silk alternative

Chanel rejects synthetic chemicals in switch to eco-silk alternative

Numerous luxury labels are taking tangible steps towards creating a greener fashion industry of late, but there is still a long way to go before they make comprehensive, sustainable gains in the field. Just yesterday, Ralph Lauren announced their introduction of a new sustainability strategy, Design the Change, and both LVMH and Kering have started to employ similar eco initiatives.

In the news this week, iconic fashion house Chanel has caught up with the trend, announcing their investment in a silk technology start-up. Based in Boston, the start-up, Evolved By Nature, use liquid silk in the creation of high-performing textiles, as an eco-friendly alternative to harsh, synthetic chemicals commonly used in the process.

Chanel’s involvement will mean it can start to explore pioneering biomaterials in producing silk and can cut down on their use of toxic chemicals in production.

Chanel commented on the investment into green, regenerative technology in a statement:

"This partnership will allow Chanel to explore innovative material, mechanical and optical enhancements of different fabrics, in line with Chanel's ambition of constantly creating materials of exceptional and unique quality. This investment is part of the company's strategy in investing in green technology."

Green silk

Evolved by Nature, founded by biomedical engineer Rebecca Lacouture and chemist Gregory Altman in 2013, produce what is called ‘activated silk’. The trademark silk derives from discarded silkworm cocoons and is already used in a variety of fabrics, cosmetics and medical products, according to the company.

Chanel is yet to confirm how exactly the silk protein will be integrated into products or how much the new, sustainable silk will cost customers. But the investment is certainly a step in the right direction.