Fifty Shades of Gray, Black, Brown & Other Colors — These Tones Lead the Sustainable Fiber Trends for 2021

As footwear firms continue to launch ambitious planet-friendly products, many executives will face the inevitable sustainability snag: how to choose materials that don’t compromise on performance or color range.

Chromuch, a manufacturer of environmentally-friendly fibers, is aiming to fix that. In partnership with color specialist Promostyl, it is promoting five color collections that are designed with 2021’s trends in mind.

“With over 1,000 colors in the total palette, companies can take a modern approach to design where sustainable sourcing and premium color come first,” said Mike Shih, a Chromuch representative. “By partnering with Promostyl, we are taking the risks out of the coloring process for our customers by ensuring that the right colors hit the market at the right time.”

Chromuch fibers are made from recycled plastic, like Unifi’s Repreve, but there is an added emphasis on sustainable dyeing. Instead of traditional methods, the fibers are solution-dyed in a process that uses no water, which reduces its environmental impact. The company said its fibers are “rich in color, fade resistant and earth friendly.”

Through the Promostyl collaboration, 50 shades are highlighted from the 1,000 shade palette. These include the oceanic “Drift Away” collection, which evokes the sentiment of travel and getting back to nature, and the urban, neon-edged “Push & Go,” which embraces the athleisure movement.

Color Demo pics for Chromuch x Promostyl
The Push & Go color palette (left) includes khaki and neon hues, while the Drift Away collection mixes earthy and ocean tones.
CREDIT: Chromuch

“In the world of sportswear, manufacturing times are very long because it is more technical and, therefore, it is important to anticipate trends well in advance — usually around two years,” said Marion Hugoo, a color specialist at Promostyl. “As sportswear is increasingly inspired by fashion, the Chromuch collection has refined shades that are more urban and subtle.”

Due to the manufacturer’s push toward sportswear and athleisure, the fibers are also designed with performance in mind. With its ChromShield technology built into every fiber, Chromuch aims to rival its competitors’ technical attributes while providing an edge in sustainability.

“Sportswear and athleisure garments typically include additional options such as antibacterial, UV blocking or heat-retention properties,” said Paige Boucher, a spokesperson for Chromuch. “All of these are provided by ChromShield Technology, a shield layer that wraps around the core, solution-dyed fiber.”

For smaller brands that are interested in the textiles but that are challenged by the traditionally high minimum order quantities, Chromuch also provides a curated line of in-stock fibers: Chromuch Now. These fibers come in 10 Promostyl-approved shades and retain the company’s signature performance and eco-friendly attributes, with no minimums.

Watch the video below to see major shoe designers discuss what design means to them:

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