For decorating or adding functionality to garments, bags and shoes, accessory components are unique in that they follow the entire production and distribution cycle, a process that today involves the sourcing of responsible materials and processing and finishing stages with reduced impact.
Branded products, paper labels, shopping bags, shipping boxes, and gifts are also a valuable way of keeping in touch with the consumer. Developments for the Autumn-Winter 2024-25 season explore these different facets, guaranteeing processes geared at reducing impact at every stage of the journey.
Like textiles, accessories today rely on two key raw materials: polyester and cotton. To overcome our dependence on fossil-based raw materials which are heavy on carbon emissions, the offer now includes bio-sourced plastics polymerized from renewable resources. The range continues to expand, with proposals for chains, buttons, zips, and stoppers.
Elsewhere, creativity and circularity make happy bedfellows. Leftover wool and cotton scraps, plant residues and even algae collected during the decontamination of Venice’s canals diversify the range of raw materials now available for paper products. New versatile materials developed from olive and mycelium waste add character to jacrons and patches. Other products offer coatings formulated from recycled coffee residues.
The season’s components stand out for the visual impact of their surfaces. Changing, moiré-style metallics are developed using PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) finishing, a technology that forms an ultra-resistant metallic coating while minimizing impact compared with conventional electroplating. Mother-of-pearl meets GOTS standards, guaranteeing that no heavy chemical treatments have been used to alter the authenticity of its natural iridescence. To highlight the beauty of recycled metals such as aluminum, brass or reclaimed zamak, surfaces are distressed, faceted and hammered to catch the light randomly. Stainless steel brings out the chrome shine of metals, eliminating the need for coatings to minimize the number of processing stages. Meanwhile, mechanical finishes are used to create discreet sheens with brushed or satiny polished finishes.
While carbon footprint reduction remains a key focus for the transportation of goods, the components of the packaging often escape scrutiny. And for an industry that holds the #1 spot on the e-commerce podium, a mountain of non-recyclable, petrochemically-derived low-density polyethylene (LDPE) continues to be widely used.
But there’s hope, with a range of alternatives based on high-resistance recycled paper and bio-sourced polymers geared to the development of rain- and moisture-resistant materials now available. As a key communication opportunity for brands, gift boxes and hangers can also now be made without glue, with natural wax finishes and soy-based inks replacing potentially toxic additives.