Thinking from within the fashion industry we only have 19 collections before we can meet the 2030 climate targets. This fact puts an immense responsibility in our decisions, developments and investments. We have to define a definitive net-zero approach supported by actions, innovation and business structures and we all know that we cannot achieve this alone. The value chains need closer, structured working schemes, scaling of ideas and communication that reflects educating industry players and everyone who uses fashion and not only marketing so that efforts can transform into progress.
New materials that will redefine not only products but business structures:
“Materials science startup Kintra and burgeoning lifestyle brand PANGAIA are working in partnership to take bio-based and biodegradable ‘synthetic’ fibers to scale, intending to replace their non-biodegradable equivalents. Kintra’s fibers are a form of polyester called polybutylene succinate (PBS) PBS -1.7%, which is biodegradable and compostable, and in Kintra's current process, 56% derived from corn instead of fossil fuels. The flagship material they will launch with PANGAIA will be 100% bio-based and traced to corn and wheat primary feedstocks” (1) New materials may also help redefine R&D as well as suppliers relations as in the case with Kintra and Pangaia where collaboration defines a brand`s ownership of its commitment to be responsible in transforming the fashion industry. The level of partnership to design products for the end of life is a must on the fashion industry`s transformation to becoming circular as it enables proof of concept, scalability and an R&D input transformed into real products.
(1) Read the full story here on Techstyler`s Forbes article.
Another collaboration where products are redefined to be good for the Earth as well as humas is a bio-leather used in sneakers. As part of Slow Factory’s first science incubator, One x One paired up Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne, of the New York label Public School, and scientist Dr Theanne Schiros to create lab-grown “bioleather” trainers. Public School has become known for its footwear designs, ranging from sneakers to creepers. The brand often makes its shoes using real leather, which isn’t the most sustainable material out there. The result of reexamining this material choice resulted in a new “bio-leather” that challenges regular leather sourcing and production processes. “Dr. Schiros performed a life cycle analysis that proved that this process results in over 10,000 times lower human toxicity than chrome-tanned leather, with 2-3 orders of magnitude lower carbon footprint than PU or plastic-based leather alternatives.”
Read full story on Mold.
Scaling on recycling:
Fashion technology company Circ has a 2030 goal to recycle 10 billion garments, which accounts for roughly 10 percent of the global annual production of textiles, according to Mr. Hartman; the COO and vice president of business development at Circ, a tech company that produces recycled textiles for the fashion industry. Circ’s technology can take textile waste made from cotton or polyester or poly-cotton blends and give them a new life. Circ has goals to scale their operations by building factories globally. The Green New Deal with a focus on importing recycled content goods into the EU might help scale the recycling of fibers where traceability and accountability need to be essential pillars to support a system approach and eliminate greenwashing marketing and/or singled out products which are far from being volume representations.
Regenerative agriculture and fashion:
Regenerative farming mimics the earth’s natural system, clothes created from fibers harvested on these types of farms help enhance biodiversity, enrich soil, improve watersheds and encourage carbon drawdown and create clothing which can be beneficial. Fibershed`s Fiber Visions bridges fashion and agroecology (indigenous ecological agriculture) and introduces climate positive fibers in collaboration with brands; integrating soil advocacy and an understanding of farm to closet and drawing attention to how fashion truly impacts land and the people. Fashion industry has seen hemp re-introduced as a regenerative fiber as it`s strong root system helps protect against soil erosion and flood and the short growing seasons provides efficiency. Hemp can be rain irrigated and does not require pesticides. Cotton is used widely and contributes to %22 of the fiber use in our clothes and transforming cotton agriculture to be regenerative is essential for this precious plant to survive extinction as well as to become a source of good.