3D-Printed Fashion Keeps Your Clothing Cruelty-free

3D-Printed Fashion Keeps Your Clothing Cruelty-free

We are far beyond the tipping point where it is sustainable to slaughter animals for their hides and furs in the name of fashion. Now, more important, is our understanding of the pain and suffering that animals — sentient beings — feel as they are farmed, pent-up in unethically tiny cages awaiting execution just so people can think they look good.


This is not sustainable fashion.

The highly-desired — and rightfully so — qualities and characteristics of furs and leathers for fashion can now be obtained in other ways: by creating sustainable clothing. We live in a time when high-end synthetic and organic products, along with 3D printing replacements, are already available in the fashion world.

Sustainable fashion is the future — not the cruelty intrinsic to leathers and furs.

My 3D printing allows me to create innovative materials to replace 100 per cent of leather in all types of clothing and accessories. Yes, leather exists everywhere in fashion — but sustainable fashion will prevail.

The Costs of Unsustainable Fashion
There is so much death carried with us in our clothes and accessories.

Ethical living journalist Lucy Siegle explains in her article published by The Guardian, “Presently around 290m cows are killed every year from a global herd approaching 1bn. Projections tell us that in order to keep us in wallets, handbags, and shoes, the industry needs to slaughter 430m cows annually by 2025.”


However, the ethical dilemma for the use of leather goes beyond the slaughter of millions of cows and sheep.


Peta explains that “although some leather makers deceptively tout their products as ‘eco-friendly,’ turning skin into leather also requires massive amounts of energy and dangerous chemicals, including mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes, some of them cyanide-based.”

3D-Printed Fashion
3D-Printed Fashion,

Global Warming, One Leather Bag at a Time


The fashion industry emits as much greenhouse gas as all of Europe.


“The apparel sector is one where there’s a lot of uncertainty about what exactly the impacts are,” said Nate Aden, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute.


“The best number we have now is about five percent of [global] greenhouse gas emissions (come from) this sector. To give you some sense of perspective, that’s about equivalent to the impact from the aviation sector, so all the planes flying in the world.”


Aden also explains that leather is particularly damning.


“Leather is responsible for a lot of methane emissions, which is a strong climate forcer. It is more potent than carbon and has a more immediate short-term impact,” Aden said.


This means that older consumers’ current desire for unsustainable clothing, such as leather, has a domino effect because those animals used for leather require enormous quantities of water and land, which must be cleared of trees — doubling down on the issue of climate change.


“In fact, in the last half-century, 70 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been cleared to make way for pastures or for growing feed crops,” reports Peta.


Eco fashion
eco fashion

Bags and leather-like clothes can be produced ethically and in an innovative way. Example – 3D-printed works of Julia Daviy

Animal Parts are Offensively Unfashionable

Not only are such materials unethical in various ways — they are no longer the forerunners in quality.

The 3D printing process gives so much more back to designers, and ultimately consumers, as 3D modeling allows intricacies and design work at what would otherwise be impossible levels with traditional approaches.

Additionally, dead-animal fashion is out.

Sure, the Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett caps of the 1800s have their place in the annals of history — but having a limp bit of tail that once covered a living creature’s butt, waving back and forth behind you every step of the way, is simply ridiculous.

Even more sickening are those who choose to carry entire massacres on their shoulders. According to CEASE, it takes 100 chinchillas or as many as 60 minks to make one full-length fur coat.

The is why fur prices have been depressed for years: wearing dead animals as clothing is depressing.

“Domestic consumption of North American fur has been nearly nonexistent for decades due to changes in fashion,” explained Trapping Today, before going on to point out that trappers need to rely on less woke parts of the world, such as Russia and China.

Some people argue that such materials are part of our heritage and tradition. However, there was a short period of time during World War II when human bodies and skin were used in German fashion.

Obviously, this is an extreme example. However, you don’t see our society longing for those times of yesteryear when we adorned our homes with human’s skins in the name of fashion — unless perhaps you’re Ed Gein, the real-life serial killer who inspired the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series.

And, if Central Saint Martins graduate Tina Gorjanc’s project Pure Human (a range of leather prototypes that she theorizes could be grown from DNA extracted from hair samples of the fashion designer Alexander McQueen), doesn’t make your skin crawl, you should really take a long look in the mirror.

Projects such as Pure Human, and even those using traditional furs and leathers, are largely being rejected by Generation Z, as a carrying on from the previous generations’ aversion to them. There is no doubt that future generations will denounce such traditional materials for what they are — offensive crimes.
Final Thoughts: Sustainable Fashion Keeps Your Clothing Cruelty-free
Future sustainable clothing must be ethical. If a project does not meet this requirement, it should not be developed at all. Fashion, like science, is incredibly important, but not so important that it can be allowed to operate outside an ethical framework.

In the past, designers struggled to know where to turn for ethically sourced materials. This is no longer the case. We have developed new technology that leads to innovative fashion, trumping the old-style approach.

We need to change our thinking, to upgrade it. 3D printing sustainable clothing should not be mixed with old-style technics. It is so easy to create a world of sustainable fashion that is cruelty-free and zero-waste.

Tell us your vision on the topic of ethic and innovative fashion in the comment section below!

Changing Fashion One Printer at A Time: Why Every Woman Needs 3D Printed Clothing in Her Closet

Changing Fashion One Printer at A Time: Why Every Woman Needs 3D Printed Clothing in Her Closet

In 2018, I launched the world’s first-ever fully 3D printed women’s fashion line created on large-format 3D printers and presented it during the last New York Fashion Week. Throughout that week and in the time since, one question I’ve been asked more times than I can count is simply, “why?”

Most people are amazed by the quality of clothing that can be accomplished with my method of 3D printing in fashion, but the reasoning behind moving towards 3D printed clothing goes so far beyond just the aesthetics or function of the pieces. The thing that makes this new paradigm so important, and the thing that drew me to it in the first place, is the enormous potential 3D printing holds for advancement in an ethical and sustainable fashion.

Since I first started experimenting with 3D printing, my vision has always been a world in which fashion production is safer and cleaner, with the serious human and environmental costs that the industry currently inflicts greatly reduced or eliminated. There are a number of ways that 3D printed clothing helps to move that dream towards reality, and raising awareness on those positive impacts is one of the main reasons I design.

A Technological Solution to Serious Environmental Problems

The materials that traditional garment production utilizes cause a lot of problems, and they’re only going to get worse over time.   We know that cotton production is highly dependant on chemicals and fertilizers causing massive environmental damage, and the chromium used in leather tanning is extremely harmful to the people that work with it and the environment it leaches into. But beyond that, we’re also running into a shortage of space.

Textile production is incredibly resource-intensive, and as time marches on, we’re going to get to the point where it just isn’t possible to keep doing it the way we currently do. Cotton production, for instance, requires huge amounts of water. Cotton is grown in India – an already water-starved country – uses 22,500 litres of water per kilogram grown. It also requires large swaths of land to be dedicated to the crop. Neither land nor fresh water is in ample supply and, thanks to climate change and human expansion, every year they only get scarcer.

Imagine a world like the one PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has, in which, as space and resources dwindle, people move seaward and into floating cities. Where would the resources and space needed to produce clothing come from?

3D printing provides a solution to this resource scarcity problem. Clothes produced with 3D printers utilize materials that don’t require the waste of millions of liters of precious fresh water or land that could be used to grow food, and the printers themselves, even large-scale ones, require very little space in comparison to traditional clothing factories. It’s an elegant technical solution to a pressing problem, and it means that as the world’s population grows and the land we have available to us shrinks, we can continue producing all of the clothing we need while directing our most important resources to where they should go – improving the lives of human beings.

Real Progress Towards Ethical Production Methods

There is a lot of talk in the fashion industry about ethical and sustainable production, but unfortunately, there’s very little action to go along with it. Because ‘sustainability’ is such a buzzword, people get the incorrect impression that we’ve made big strides in fixing the numerous environmental and human problems that come along with traditional garment production – but we haven’t. In reality, we’ve only taken the tiniest of baby steps.

Baby steps aren’t enough, and 3D printing allows us to take some enormous steps towards solving problems like unethical labor practices and out-of-control waste. For instance, clothing created on a 3D printer doesn’t require cutting or sewing, so the demand for cheap labor that drives sweatshops is eliminated from the production process. That has an enormously positive impact on the welfare of women and children all over the world.

The shift in the role of the worker isn’t the only change. The role of the end-consumer also changes, moving them from a passive consumption position to a place where they can be actively involved in the design of their own clothing. That new involvement results in the production clothes that consumers will be happy to wear for years rather than a single season, reducing the massive landfill problem that currently plagues the industry.

The 3D printing process is also extremely efficient in and of itself. Whereas traditional manufacturing produces an enormous amount of waste material, 3D printing uses only as much filament as is required to complete a design, so there is effectively no wasted material discarded during production.

An Opportunity for Everyone to Help Create Change

The reaction to my full line at Fashion Week was incredibly positive but as nice as it was to receive compliments on the visual or functional aspects of the designs, what I was most pleased with was the immensely positive response towards the potential impacts of the technology. I love fashion, and making beautiful clothing is incredibly important to me, but my passion is making a positive change in the industry I love. A huge number of women feel the same way I do, and while few will ever design their own clothing, a consumer wearing a 3D printed garment can do so knowing they’re making a positive contribution towards sustainability in fashion in a very real way.  




2*  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/floating-city-french-polynesia-2020-coast-islands-south-pacific-ocean-peter-thiel-seasteading-a8053836.html

Photo: Vita Zamchevska, Olya Helga, Julia Daviy 

Text: Julia Daviy