What is fashion’s place in a world that is rapidly running out of natural resources? 

The fashion industry’s disastrous environmental impact is no secret. Unsustainable agricultural systems and contamination from synthetic fibres, dyes and finishes continuously pollute ecosystems and decimate biodiversity throughout the value chain whilst simultaneously perpetuating socio-economic injustices. Consumerism has fuelled the desire for fast fashion, which is reliant on overconsumption of finite resources and intensive farming practices. Increasing amounts of fertilisers and pesticides are needed to meet these demands, degrading the soil which inhibits regeneration, resulting in a loss of arable land. For fashion to have a future, there needs to be an imminent shift to regenerative practices that protect biodiversity and support agricultural food systems.

Sunflowers could provide a solution. 

Sunflowers are utilised as a part of regenerative agricultural systems and aid climate mitigation through soil remediation and boosting biodiversity. Cultivated globally, sunflowers can be grown without fertilisers and can be companioned and rotated with other food crops. Their extensive roots establish a symbiotic relationship with beneficial microbes, bacteria and fungi that promote healthy soils. Sunflowers can withstand drought, and their natural resilience has made them a model for scientists studying climate change adaptation. 

Climafibre has developed fibre for textiles, natural dyes and a hydropic coating made entirely from sunflowers.

Using enzymes derived from bacteria and fungi, Climafibre has worked closely with scientists to develop a unique process to isolate cellulose fibres from sunflower stems. These fibres are then combed and spun into a yarn, then woven into a fabric. The hydrophobic coating is made from a by-product of the sunflower oil industry and provides water-resistant protection for natural fibres without the use of harmful chemicals. This coating allows the fabric to maintain its breathable qualities with minimal alteration to its aesthetics or hand feel. Climafibre's bold colour palette has been developed from pigments extracted from various parts of the flower. They can be used as a natural alternative for textile dyes and printing, free from fossil fuels. Climafibre envisions a future localised production network within Bioregion PA9*, which integrates food and fibre systems and promotes regenerative agriculture.

*Bioregion PA9 encompasses the UK, Ireland and the Faroe Islands.



Jess Redgrave is a multidisciplinary designer working at the intersection of fashion and science, pushing the boundaries of regenerative design and traditional biological practices.

After completing a BA in Fashion Design and Technology from Manchester Metropolitan University, Jess established her career in the fashion industry by designing for many international brands. After working for several years as a designer and encountering the massive environmental damage and waste caused by the fashion industry, she felt compelled to retrain and use her skills to reimagine what design, fashion and the use of materials could look like through an alternative lens where the health of the planet and its inhabitants was centred.

As a result, Jess enrolled in Material Futures where she set up her design practice with a focus on fashion that’s actively good for the planet and biodiversity. Her approach is to champion regeneration via the creation process, while using innovative technology to ensure transparency and accountability in the supply chain.



︎ jess_redgrave

︎ Jess Redgrave 



A rain jacket made from sunflowers | Material District | 2023

Innovation of the month | Impact Hub | 2023

Key Colours for S/S 25 | WGSN | 2023

From the Lab | Plastic Free | 2022

Sunflower | Future Materials Bank | 2022

Industry: The End of Abundance | WGSN | 2022

Viewpoint Colour Issue 12 | Franklin Till | 2022

Ethical Colour Report | Colour of Saying | 2022

DDW Highlights | Pyratex | 2022

Towards a...regenerative fabrics future | Innovation in textiles | 2022

Exhibitions & Talks 

Phytophilia | Symbio(s)cene | Munich 2023

Colour, Trend + Macro Event | Luminary | London 2023

Sustainable Colour Exhibition | Colour of Saying | Arizona 2022

Dutch Design Week | United Matters | Eindhoven 2022

Sewing Sunflowers | Check Your Thread | Podcast 2022

Future Fabrics Expo | The Sustainable Angle | London 2022

Degree Show | MA Material Futures | London 2022


GFIL | Future Frontiers Fund | 2023 

Secrid Talent Podium Winner | 2023

Green Concept Award Winner | New Materials | 2023