Technology major Epson has partnered with Japanese fashion designer Yuima Nakazato and his eponymous YUIMA NAKAZATO brand for the ongoing Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week Spring – Summer 2023 to unveil creations that are both stunning and sustainable. In addition to utilising Epson’s digital textile printing to reproduce his unique and creative worldview YUIMA NAKAZATO realised some of its creations with the help of a new, more sustainable and potentially industry-transforming textile production process.
Epson’s dry fibre technology, which is already used commercially to recycle office paper and which requires virtually no water has been adapted to produce printable non-woven fabric from used garments. The new fabric production process was revealed in Paris as part of a three-year collaboration between Epson and YUIMA NAKAZATO and was used in the creation of items for the first time during the latter’s runway show at the Palais de Tokyo on January 25, 2023.
The collaboration between Epson and YUIMA NAKAZATO builds on the success of the company’s printing support for his couture and evolves the level of his creations to enable the low-impact production of high-quality custom garments. Both Epson and YUIMA NAKAZATO are keen to raise awareness of the water and material waste associated with excess production. The Paris Show illustrates how switching to digital textile printing using more environmentally friendly pigment inks offers the fashion industry a more sustainable and less wasteful means of textile printing.
The fabric taken to create the latest YUIMA NAKAZATO fashion line was derived from material from used garments sourced from Africa, the destination for many discarded garments from elsewhere in the world. Nakazato visited Kenya where he collected around 150 kg of waste garment material destined for the “clothes mountain” of discarded textiles. Epson then applied its dry fibre process to produce over 50 metres of new re-fiberised non-woven fabric, some of which was used for printing with pigment inks with Epson’s Monna Lisa digital printing technology.
Explaining the importance of the technology Hitoshi Igarashi from Epson’s Printing Solutions Division said, “Although in its early stages, Epson believes its dry fibre technology combined with pigment ink digital printing could offer the fashion industry a much more sustainable future, significantly reducing water use while allowing designers the freedom to fully express their creativity. Dry fibre technology applied to the fashion industry offers the possibility of producing material for new clothes that have been recycled from used garments.”
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