According to literature, innovation (literally “novelty” or “renewal”) is usually understood as new ideas and inventions and their economic implementation (innovation). In a narrower sense, an idea only becomes an innovation when it is implemented in the form of new products, services or processes that are actually used and penetrate the market. Hence, when is a textile company innovative and when is it rather following a trend?
We believe that innovation often involves considerable risk and therefore a good deal of courage. If you want to be innovative, you have to be prepared to think differently and venture into unknown waters. We don’t see ourselves as inventors of the textile industry, but as open-minded actors who dare to question the status quo and want to think outside the box. If we can’t find an existing solution on the market, we don’t shy away from the effort of starting our own development. For example, we couldn’t find any usable fabric made of 100% Swiss wool on the market. In fact, such fabrics have apparently been completely replaced by synthetic and merino wool. Our own development from Swiss sheep’s wool is therefore not a disruptive “new” innovation, but a completely new development, because this product was nowhere to be found. For this reason, we have rebuilt the entire value chain for our own Muntagnard Swiss LANA fabric in a two-year development process. Thus, 1.25 tons of Swiss wool were turned into a jacket fabric of roughly 1.3 km length. Our main goal was to revive the use of a great raw material that has been somewhat forgotten and pushed back in the last decades and to show that it is possible to produce a wonderful end product with this raw material – our own Muntagnard Swiss LANA fabric.
Even our T-shirt LEGNA, the first certified plastic-free garment in the world (according to flustix), is not a groundbreaking innovation. Obviously, before the use of synthetics, garments and other products were exclusively plastic-free. Today, however, it is standard practice a “100% cotton” labelled textile, for example, unfortunately does not contain 100% cotton. The special aspect about the T-Shirt LEGNA is that not only all components in the T-Shirt are plastic-free, which is difficult to find today. In fact, everything – the fabric, the sewing thread, the care labels – consists of only one single fibre. Thus, the T-shirt LEGNA was designed for the circular economy because it is not only biodegradable, but also as easily recyclable as possible in the current recycling system.
We always strive to rethink products from material to function to develop the best possible version. This might often be the more difficult and longer way than many are willing to go. But we see this as the central raison d’être for us to establish ourselves in the textile market and to produce products “differently”. For us, it is secondary whether we develop something completely new ourselves, drive innovation in cooperation with other organisations or simply combine and use innovative, marketable products and solutions from others to create a new product. We want to create high-quality, stylish and comfortable textiles for people who, like us, go their own way and think outside the box to push sustainable development.