Keeping garments looking newer for longer, sustainably


*Corresponding author
Croda, Cowick Hall, Snaith, Goole, England


Historically, fabric conditioners have been used to soften and add fragrance to the laundry load. In recent years formulators have used this system to protect clothes from signs of aging, helping consumers feel good and more confident in their favourite clothes. With garments looking newer for longer they do not have to be replaced as often making for a more sustainable wardrobe. Silicone additives are often used to make these claims but come with the associated environmental disadvantages this type of chemistry brings. Functionalised biopolymers offer a greener, more sustainable, higher performance alternative.


Clothes have a significant effect on the way we feel, the way we go about our day and our inner confidence. This can be from the way that clothes hang, how they feel against our skin and how they look. Clothing can be an expression of ourselves, but it can also impact positively or negatively on our mood. However, the fashion industry is well known to be a highly polluting industry throughout the whole value chain.

  • The global fashion industry produces 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon emissions a year, more than international flights and maritime shipping (1)
  • It takes 2,700 litres of water to manufacture a single cotton t-shirt and 15,000 litres to grow the cotton, dye and manufacture a pair of denim jeans (2, 3)
  • 6 out of 10 garments end up in landfill or are incinerated within their first year of production (3)

It is suggested that one of the most significant opportunities for reducing environmental impact is to increase the active life of clothing. If clothes look newer for longer, people will keep and wear them for longer. This prevents replacement garments having to be made and saves the wat ...