Shed your Print, Save the WorldJune 28th, 2012 by Jennifer Vaughn
Andy Warhol predicted 15 minutes of fame for us all.
Tim Ferriss says our workweek only needs to be 4 hours.
Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson have boiled a manager’s job all they way down to one minute.
In our business, we see trends in the continually shortening life cycles of products. The hottest trends, designs, and products of this year will be old news in few months and we’ll be onto the next big thing…sometimes leaving debris in our wake.
Now, Fioen van Balgooi of Refinity is looking to introduce a game-changer to combat the waste that the short attention span of these cycles can cause: Removable prints.
Refinity saw a disconnect between our ever-changing selves and the temporary designs we use for expression and promotion, then developed a printing process that can be ecologically removed allowing textiles to be re-used and expanding the life-cycle of product.
In collaboration with Anne Noordegraaf and More Tea Vicar, the group created items centered around a garden theme and developed a process that allows textiles to be printed then the print removed. They see this process opening up the door to re-usability in multiple ways. Consumers can have clothing adjusted as fashion trends change, companies can change logos, taglines, and slogans on their branded items, and print can be removed before recycling allowing the fibers to be spun into a solid coloured thread.
The pieces they developed are machine washable and can be worn multiple times. In a win for the environment neither the ink nor the detergent used in their process contain harmful substances. In addition to re-usability, their vision for the technology includes cutting back on long distance transport of raw materials and print on-demand production possibilities.
The design is still in the early stages of development and the team is working on commercialization of their service. Improvements they hope to make to the process include creating ink more suitable for printing, increasing the number of textiles the process can be applied to, and creating a return system for the textiles.
Recent developments like removable and 3D printing serve as great reminders of the advances occurring in our field.