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New sustainability standards for man-made cellulosic fibres establishes

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Figure: Man-made fibres could hold the key to developing a truly circular fashion industry

Man-made fibres made from wood pulp and natural plant materials may hold the key to a truly circular fashion industry development, but the sustainable quality of the field can be further enhanced.

According to a report out last week from Forum for the Future and the Textile Exchange, man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF) sector could revolutionize the wasteful textile and apparel sectors.

MMCF includes materials such as lyocell, viscose, and modal that comprise roughly 7% of global fibre production which offers ‘unique prospects’ for achieving a circular fashion industry, the report said.

According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, without the quality loss, MCCF waste fibres can be turned into new fibres typically associated with recycling natural fibres. As a result, this fibre is apart from other materials coveted by the fashion industry, which wastes disposal is roughly $500bn in value every year due to the that is barely worn and rarely recycled.

However, today’s ‘Vision Statement’ warns that the MCCF sector will have to overcome sufficient social and environmental challenges to meet its full potential, including tackling the impact of deforestation and biodiversity as a result of sourcing of raw materials.

“While progress is being made on traceability, innovation and sourcing practice [in the sector], opportunities for deeper, systemic change are being lost in the absence of a holistic approach to addressing these interrelated challenges within the full value chain,” said Sally Uren, Chief Executive Officer at Forum for the Future.

As such, today’s report outlines multiple priorities, from material sourcing to disposal and recycling, hoping that this environment will take to prevent its environmental impact and increase recycling rates.

“By aligning behind a shared vision for a resilient and sustainable industry, the MMCF industry could lead the transformation of the apparel and textile sector, as well as make a positive contribution to other industries that source this versatile fibre. We now invite actors from across the industry to explore how they will work together to achieve this vision.” Uren added.

The Vision Document calls on the MCCF sector to set goals aimed at restoring ecology, ensuring a carbon neutral value chain, and adopting a renewable landscape approach so that it provides raw materials for its fibers.

It further asks that companies manage chemical and other inputs, provide net-zero emissions throughout their operations and commit to production “with zero harm” by taking closed-loop production measures.

And it has asked the sector to design, simulate and implement notified value chains as a result of zero waste, ensuring that companies will take steps to manage the impact of their products after they are sold.

Finally, it calls on the sector to uphold community and individual rights and distribute economic value equitably.

LaRhea Pepper, Managing Director for Textile Exchange, said the recommendations in the report come at a time when the world fashion industry is undergoing drastic changes. “2020 is kicking off a decade of change and the launch of the MMCF Vision is a big driver of the change that is needed,” she said. “We must reduce carbon emissions from fibre and material production by 2030.”

The vision was developed over a year with input from over 50 stakeholders ranging from producers, suppliers, and brands to NGOs and standards organisations. Japanese chemicals company Asahi Kasei, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, Target, and C&A helped fund the project.

This vision was developed over a year with the input of more than 50 stakeholders from NGOs and standards organizations, starting from producers, suppliers, and brands. Japanese chemicals company Asahi Kasei, the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, Target, and C&A helped fund the project.

The report will be discussed at the Textile Exchange’s forthcoming MMCF Round Table, and then in early November, industry stakeholders will reconvene to give updates on progress against the vision.

The report will be discussed at the upcoming MMCF Round Table of the Textile Exchange and then in early November, the industry stakeholders will reconsider to give an update on the progress against this approach.

 

This report is based on story first appeared on BusinessGreen

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