In the fast-growing next-gen materials market, cellulose fibers extracted from wood, old textiles, and even bacteria are performing akin to cotton, silk, and polyester. This offers an exciting opportunity to alleviate environmental problems caused by incumbent fibers, and at the core of this movement are man-made cellulosic fibers (MMCFs). For now, the transparent, environmentally and socially sustainable sourcing of MMCFs relies on quantifiable data from the likes of TrusTrace, GreenStory, and the Textile Exchange, among others. The focal takeaway regarding this fast-growing market is that not all MMCFs are created equal, and Challenge The Fabric certainly lived up to its name. An ongoing dialogue with the forestry and pulp industry is necessary to optimize and shed light on the calculable environmental and social benefits of MMCFs, to expand the market whilst safeguarding Earth and humanity.
Introduction and welcome
Forest to fabrics; the importance of sustainable forest practices
This panel discusses the importance of sustainable forest management. Topics
that will be discussed are centered around how sustainable forestry
management is defined, how farmers work with their forests to ensure and
protect the biodiversity, regeneration capacity and reforestation. The panel will
also discuss what sustainable forest management mean for different regions of
the world as well as how it influences sourcing strategies and the demands on
raw material suppliers.
Legislation, Policy, and Traceability
Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in legislation related to sustainability in textiles. For example, the EU Strategy for Sustainable and Circular Textiles will require the use of more sustainable and recycled materials as well as identification through the Digital Project Passport (DPP). Organizations such as the Textile Exchange are supporting the industry by developing standards to classify preferred materials. Also new startups are focusing on helping brands achieve visibility on their supply chains. How can fashion brands and suppliers alike navigate this new landscape? What role can stakeholders like innovators, NGO’s and industry organizations play? What is required to educate and disseminate knowledge on legislation, policy, and traceability? This panel will explore these important topics.
Committing to the future of Next Generation Solutions
This panel discusses the collective commitment at COP27 by brands such as Kering, H&M, Inditex to purchase over half a million tonnes of fibres stemming from Next Generation Solutions. The panel will address what this commitment means for the innovators in terms of the need for scaling, investments and partnerships and the potential challenges of reaching the scale needed.
Shaping the path forward
This panel will focus on how we can shape the path towards fashion’s sustainable future and highlight the possibilities within the MMCF field. It will discuss the importance of cross industry collaborations and how we can create long lasting change by engaging different stake holders from different industries. What can we learn from the development of other fibre categories or other industries? What will be critical to continue to grow in an innovative
and sustainable way?
Conclusion – Nina Elmersson – VP Innovare, Ekman
Challenge the Fabric 2023 will take place on May 9 – 10, in Milan