Fabrics of the future

We’d all like to feel good in the clothes we wear, and look good too, but when making choices about the clothes we buy we need to look beyond colour, cut and cost - we need to think about fabric.

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Background

We teamed up with RespectLife, a small start-up based in Italy who has developed an innovative new fabric. With cutting-edge technology, their fabric is antibacterial, hypoallergenic, comfortable and recyclable (to name just a few of its properties), we were keen to explore how this innovative fabric compared to similar high street products!

Our approach

We collaborated with our VOICE® community, asking a group of people aged 60-95 to wear/use garments from RespectLife for a period of two weeks. We then asked participants to complete a short online survey to gather their insights.

The outcomes

First impressions were varied – some participants thought the products were pleasant, and soft to touch, while others thought the products appeared synthetic and unattractive.

After having used the products, feedback improved and, in the main, the fabric was well received.

Most report that:

  • The washing instructions were fair (reduced detergent and temperature), although some highlighted that creases did not fall out and some stains proved difficult to remove.
  • The warmth, lightweight and breathability of the fabric were reported as good (“They seem to be made well, very light”. “I thought they would be easy to wear and incorporate into daily life”. “Soft and silky fabric”).
  • The design and synthetic smell could be improved.
  • In comparison to other fabrics, RespectLife products provided a similar experience (wearing and washing).

Next steps

The appetite to engage in this study was hugely positive. The group engaged well and were thrilled to have the opportunity to support the development of RespectLife products. Feedback was honest and valuable.

There is more work to be done in relation to product development but mainly around the design of the product. Fundamentally, the fabric was well received by this group. A second phase to explore insights around design, branding and the RespectLife brochure could be valuable.