A professional resource for the design curious

Risky Business

Managing Director of Instyle Contract Textiles Michael Fitzsimons takes a gamble on ecological sustainability.

BY jesse

October 28th, 2008

Michael Fitzsimons is a business leader, and a risk taker. In the late 1990’s, he developed a concept that was, at the time, a huge gamble: ecological sustainability.

Getting back to the roots of his business, Instyle Contract Textiles, he worked with his employees to develop a concept for an ecologically sustainable textile. It was not easy. Fitzsimons worked tirelessly at finding a suitable material, yet nothing available quite fit the bill.

“The only eco textile available was recycled PET… we decided there had to be a better solution to the environmental challenge at hand,” he explains.

Fitzsimons got in touch with wool manufacturers, and developed a revolutionary program, ‘LIFE Textiles’, that oversaw the production of the company’s textiles from beginning to end.

Bringing a personal touch to business allowed Fitzsimons to lead his company as one of the first to support SRS sheep’s wool – an ethical process of wool production, without the controversial process of mulesing (the removal of the folded skin.

“It took us six years of hard work and significant investment to achieve this outcome,” he says.

Today, when sustainability is at the forefront of many business ventures, Fitzsimon’s gamble has paid off. His company is becoming one of the most trusted in environmentally friendly, and ethical textiles production.


INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive