Before researching into the topic for my Intro Textiles class, I had never previously heard of textiles made from soybeans, much less even thought they were possible.
Since then, through both my textile and fashion ethics classes, I’ve learned even more about sustainable materials and their formation. With such overproduction and consumption occurring in the fashion industry today, it’s encouraging to see people making strides to reducing the negative impacts created in the process. Advances in technology have allowed us to create textiles not only from soybeans, but also from things like recycled fibers, slightly less damaging synthetic fibers such as lyocell (the equivalent of rayon made without continuously dumping the chemical baths required), and other almost unbelievable materials as coffee grounds and milk proteins. Though currently many of these fibers are still being developed or are for the most part unknown, these advancements are slowly gaining foothold as awareness grows. Perhaps in the next few years this ‘trend’ of sustainability will become a much more permanent part of our culture and the industry it has grown. With clothing now being made of soybeans – an idea virtually unthinkable even decades ago – it seems this dream of an eco-friendly future may not actually be all that far fetched.