In a year that has been a collective struggle, sustainability stands out as a bright spot. All along the textile supply chain, efforts in environmental responsibility are bringing positive change for customers and consumers alike, proving once again that raising the bar on responsible practices is healthier for people, planet and profits, too.
Today’s earth-first approach digs deep, as the importance of soil management and regenerative agriculture are recognized as critical to sustainable progress. Taking action to increase soil carbon and land use efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions using science-based targets is advancing innovation and transparency at the earliest stages of textile development.
Tending the earth is a key element of circularity, a model that is increasingly being endorsed throughout the textile industry. New thinking on the “renew, reuse” principle is giving way to exciting technologies that were far from the front lines just five years ago.
This is especially true in the realm of recycling. New techniques are not only expanding the realm of upcycling via sophisticated processes and higher quality product, but reveal how firms are steadfast in achieving corporate goals of eliminating waste.
The global material footprint rose from 43 billion metric tons in 1990 to 54 billion in 2000, and 92 billion in 2017—an increase of 70 percent since 2000, and 113 percent since 1990, according to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #12 on responsible consumption & production. The textile community is well aware that it is imperative that this trend be reversed.
Supporting this mission is an emphasis on the value of key metrics, data capture, quantified measurements in conjunction with strong belief in standards and certifications that verify traceability.
Progressive textile suppliers are not only up to this task but rallying around sustainability as the future of textiles. The companies profiled on the following pages are up to the challenge with circular solutions and bold investment in redefining what’s possible.