Can recycled textiles and biobased materials be the key part of the solution for a sustainable fashion industry ?
Fashion is the second-largest polluting industry on the planet, contributing to 20% of global wastewater. Exacerbating this is the fact that fast fashion leads to a mountain of clothing thrown away every year causing a huge impact on the environment . It is reported that globally the fashion industry is responsible for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions, with textile production alone is estimated to release 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year. Consumers are ready for a change and the fashion industry is intensifying and investing in the search for sustainable materials including recycled and biobased products! Will hemp replace mainstream textiles materials as the sustainable alternative? With the increased ethical treatment of animals, can recycled leather be the force for good? Recent attention has been focussed on mycelium as the potential alternative material for leather. How sustainable is mycelium supply? Can cultivated cell-based fur and wool revolutionise the fur industry and move it away from pollutive processes of tanning and dyeing, as well as a synthetic plastic-based materials?
Why are clothes a challenge to recycle ?
Sorting & collection of used / unsold clothing is a time consuming task made more complicated by the many blends of man-made and natural fibres used in modern garments. Innovations are rapidly developing as major brands across the fashion industry start to pay attention to the demand for more sustainable practices. Can current technologies turn new clothes from used clothings – ie textiles to textiles recycling? What mechanical or chemical recycling technologies exist out there and how scalable are they? High carbon emissions and heavy use of water and chemicals are characteristic of the fashion industry. What are brandowners doing in their sustainability commitments to reduce emissions and become carbon-neutral by 2030? Traceability in fashion businesses is a challenge to achieve as brands face huge convoluted network of suppliers. Can technologies transform the fashion supply chain traceability? CMT’s Innovations in Biobased & Recycled Textiles event held on the 17th January 2022 presents a strong panel of experts to share their perspectives as the industry cleans up and move forward to a sustainable future.
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