BIOMIMICRY in fashion

All this awareness has led to the rise of young committed brands defying the giants of luxury.



People Tree, Pioneer of fare fashion


Ceebios, the European Center of Excellence in Biomimicry, has published an inventory showing the interest of most industrial sectors in biomimicry. Germany being at the forefront of biomimetic research, with more than 100 German public research R & D structures involved in biomimetic activities. The German state supports the creation of these networks, and has invested more than 120 million euros since 2001. Great Britain with the Network NIM (Nature-Inspired Manufacturing) and Switzerland, with the first interuniversity center (bringing together the University of Friborg, EPFL, and ETH Zurich) dedicated to bio-inspired materials, are also experts on the topic.

But what about France? The richness of its natural heritage gives France all the potential to position itself as a major player. “Nothing but its maritime space, the second world, is a treasure to be valued! We must build on this asset, push bio-inspired innovation to encourage its preservation. Especially since we are ahead in the tools of analysis of biodiversity. Our efficiency in searching the data that comes from it is well established! ”

There are more than 175 research teams and about a hundred companies positioned in this approach, in sectors as varied as energy, construction, materials, cosmetics … “In terms of skills, the Ile de France comes first, but New Aquitaine is politically better placed, “notes Kalina Raskin. “The number of companies is growing, economic opportunities are growing, and if many laboratories contribute, this positioning does not reach the institutional level yet,” says the director of CEEBIOS, who would like to one day evolve in French Institute of biomimicry, to have more legitimacy of means and statutes useful for the development of the sector.


Giants are more and more open to biotech startups, by finding alternative materials that meet the quality requirements of luxury goods. “Leathers made from pineapple, apple or bamboo fibers do not yet have the strength, the esthetic and the flexibility that meets our criteria,” said Alexandre Capelli – LVMH. The Californian startup, Bolt Thread, develops synthetic leather and silks. AlgiKnit is at the origin of a textile based on seaweed.

Furthermore, the LVMH giant opened “La Maison des Startups” (startup-house in English) at the end of April at Station F in Paris. For its part, Kering has recently joined the Dutch incubator Fashion for Good. To stay one step ahead, Stella McCartney has launched a competition with Peta between thirty major American universities to manufacture vegan wool.

Look Forward Vision

With the transition of luxury accelerating, brands have no choice but to follow the aspirations of millennials and worry about the environmental and ethical impact they have. Ecology is no longer perceived as a constraint but more as an opportunity to innovate and create value. The rise of young committed brands challenges the luxury giants and ecology is no longer an option but a duty and an obligation.

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