ELLEN MACARTHUR FOUNDATION: LINEAR TEXTILE SYSTEM IS ‘RIPE FOR DISRUPTION’
Last week I was fortunate to be invited to attend the launch of a new report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The report sets out ambitious goals and actions for transitioning to a textile system that delivers better economic, societal and environmental outcomes. The solutions outlined in the report, called "A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning Fashion's Future," are based on the principles of a circular economy. The report also details the alarming trends that have led to the 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse emissions currently created by the fashion industry per year.
According to the report, clothing production has doubled in the past 15 years and will triple by 2050, should growth continue as expected. Steady apparel production growth is intrinsically linked to a decline in utilization per item, leading to an incredible amount of waste. The new textiles economy outlined by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation calls for a transformation of the way clothes are designed, sold and used in order to break free from their increasingly disposable nature.
Noted during the launch event and discussed in the report, the overhaul of the industry will come down to collaboration among industry leaders, as well as a crucial shift in mainstream consumer values toward higher quality items and longer use - in many ways, the return to a shared mindset that existed before the global epidemic of cheaper, disposable products.
Sustainability at mass scale is key. For its part, DuPont Biomaterials is focused on creating and progressing new textile solutions to help mitigate the negative impacts of today's fashion industry. Sorona® fibers contain 37 percent annually renewable plant-based ingredients. At the core of Sorona® is the belief that clothing should be made to last. Sorona® fibers exhibit unique, sought-after performance benefits that can help extend the life of garments; imbuing them with longer lasting quality and enduring value.
The report also places a premium on collaboration among industry leaders "to move beyond incremental improvements and achieve a shift to a new textiles economy." We agree and are fortunate to have collaborations with other eco-conscious fiber producers to make even better materials together - textiles sourced using sustainable methods and equipped with the properties that drive long-term use.
The report is clear that the transformation of the textiles industry into a circular economic model "requires system-level change." Advances in renewably sourced textiles and an emphasis on longer use, creative re-use and institutionalized recycling are key to this revolution. We strongly encourage and support this direction and look forward to our continued participation in driving this change.