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Textile Exchange urges industry to find alternatives for existing synthetics

By Rachel Douglass


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Textile Exchange's 'Future of Synthetics' report. Credits: Textile Exchange.

In its latest report, ‘The Future of Synthetics’, non-profit Textile Exchange has issued a call on the industry to reevaluate its relationship with synthetic fibres and textiles, while cautioning suppliers on a potentially overbearing reliance on raw materials.

While the organisation is urging fashion to eliminate the use of new virgin, fossil fuel-derived synthetic materials in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions, it noted that a total shift towards land-based materials could lead to a depletion of natural resources.

As such, Textile Exchange said that the industry “must find ways to repurpose existing synthetic textile waste” that both identifies and invests in alternative methods that can further reduce the production volume of new materials overall.

The report particularly emphasised the importance of scaling textile-to-textile recycling technologies for synthetics that it said could contribute to a “truly closed-loop system” rather than relying on supplies from other industries.

Speaking on the report, Beth Jensen, senior director of climate and nature impact at Textile Exchange, said: “The industry must take responsibility for the textile waste it has created and do its part to build a truly circular system for the future.

“To do this, it will need to reduce the overall volume of new materials being extracted and produced, and where synthetic materials are used, ensure that new fossil fuel-derived feedstocks are not entering the supply chain.”

Circular Fashion
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