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5 new plant-based sustainable innovations in fabric technology

By Jackie Mallon


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Fashion |Interview

Moonlight Technologies

5 new sustainable, carbon-negative, plant-based technologies for fabrics have just been launched on the market and the business man behind introducing the innovations, Allie Sutton, CEO of Moonlight Technologies, believes they will change the future of fashion. FashionUnited chats with Allie about why plant-based textiles are the way forward.

It all started, as so many stories do, as a result of Covid. “I thought there has to be a different technology to ease the pain, one that doesn’t require throwing away single use items such as gloves and gowns,” says Sutton. “There should be a technology where the virus dies instead of the fabric.”

Also on the team is Dr. Phyllis Levine, global medical director at Moonlight, a Gynecologic Oncologist with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering from M.I.T.. Sutton and Levine partnered with a firm working on plant chemistries for different applications.

Self-cleaning fabrics are the future of fashion

“The future of fashion is natural dyes and products that don’t need to be washed,” says Sutton. The self-cleaning technologies are applied to fabric after the dyeing process when other treatments and finishings are added. Moonlight Technologies’ mission to use the power of nature to create a more sustainable, safer, and healthier world through plant-based innovation appeals to brands around the world who, Sutton says, are already lined up to acquire the technology.

The 5 technologies are: EcoArmor, one of the world’s first sustainable, air, plastic and fabric antimicrobial technologies that kills 99.9 percent of bacteria and viruses, mold, and fungus; InsectProof, a plant-based and permethrin-free bug repellent technology for fabrics, skin, and hard-goods; MindfullyClean, a self-cleaning fabric technology which allows products treated with it to stay fresh and clean regardless of use and rarely needing to be washed; OdorSafe which permanently destroys and eliminates bad odors on fabrics; and finally, Natural Dyes, a complete range of sustainably derived, non-toxic, biodegradable colorants for hard goods and textiles. All the technology can be applied to any fabric type, both synthetic and natural.

Sutton says that those who work with natural dyes know it’s almost impossible to get true dark colors, but Moonlight Technologies, as of this week, can offer a full range of natural dyes extracted from plants including one of the first natural blacks that does not come from charcoal.

Synthetic dyes, which were first discovered in the 1850s, were valued for their ability to be mass produced and color textiles vibrantly, but they contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Natural dyes which are non-allergenic and derived from plants, trees, flowers and fungi, are safe for both planet and people. Natural dyes are typically more expensive than synthetic but Sutton says Moonlight Technologies’ dyes, which are derived from a 100 percent carbon-negative process, are also competitively priced.

While Sutton’s career has been based in the fashion industry, he is excited to make these sustainable solutions available to all fields of business. They could transform apparel, uniforms, home textiles, air filtration, travel, hospitality products, fitness equipment, electronics, furniture, paint, and more.

Says Sutton, “A number of retailers are already incorporating our tech. We are also working with some of the world’s biggest brands who are trialing and interested in incorporating our technologies. Through this launch, we look forward to collaborating with partners in a variety of industries to begin implementing our technologies in real-world applications.”

Plant-based, self-cleaning, naturally colored? It gives a whole new meaning to the term green washing.

natural dyes