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With fashion's carbon footprint recently estimated at roughly two per cent of the global total, turning greenhouse gases into textiles sounds like the holy grail in terms of reducing the industry's impact on climate change.

However, a small but growing number of companies are trying to do exactly that. Chicago-based LanzaTech made headlines last year by working with Zara and Lululemon to make garments from captured steel mill emissions.

Another startup, Rubi Laboratories from San Francisco, recently raised US$4.5 million in a successful seed funding round to develop its method of producing cellulose from CO2.

Exclusive Insight

  • Wednesday, 30 November 2022

    Net tightens again on PFAS use in DWR fabrics Premium Article

    MUNICH – At ISPO here in Munich, talk of Bluesign technologies and the ZDHC aligning to no longer certify coatings, formulations and water and oil repellent textiles that use fluorine-based PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ from 2024, led to industry…
  • Tuesday, 25 October 2022

    Spotting opportunities amid an energy crisis Premium Article

    In areas of the world that are experiencing massive energy price shocks, there has probably never been a better time for textile dyers and finishers to justify investments in energy-saving measures, says Phil Patterson. But talk around ‘net zero’…
  • Monday, 17 October 2022

    Is textile sorting infrastructure lacking? Premium Article

    Earlier this year, textile recycling innovator Infinited Fiber Company (IFC) published a mid-way report of the New Cotton Project it started back in 2020. The EU-funded initiative was, to all intents and purposes, centred on IFC’s proprietary…
  • Sunday, 09 October 2022

    Brighter skies ahead for Vietnam? Premium Article

    Vietnam vies with Bangladesh for the title of the world's second biggest garment manufacturer after China. But with most of its factories reliant on coal-fired energy, it's also responsible for a big chunk of the industry's carbon footprint. With…
  • Saturday, 08 October 2022

    LCAs in sustainability data - ask the experts Premium Article

    Consumer watchdogs sent shockwaves through the fashion industry when they declared illegal the use of Higg Materials Sustainability Index (Higg MSI) data to guide consumers on environmental impact. At the heart of the concerns of the Norwegian…
  • Friday, 07 October 2022

    Completing the circle on cellulosic textiles Premium Article

    Just before the world went into lockdown, Fashion for Good estimated the investment needed in chemical recycling technologies to create man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF) from more sustainable, 'next gen' sources at an eye-watering US$20 billion. To…
  • Wednesday, 21 September 2022

    Return of the Australian Cotton Conference Premium Article

    Sustainability was a major theme of the 2022 Australian Cotton Conference which last month returned after a four year hiatus due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Speakers at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre, included Don Butler, of…
  • Thursday, 11 August 2022

    Shining a light on human rights abuses in Xinjiang Premium Article

    The Xinjiang Police Files attracted global attention when Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, shared them with 14 major news organisations earlier this year. The result of a hacking attack on police…
  • Wednesday, 10 August 2022

    SAC and Higg leaders respond to critics Premium Article

    June was not a good month for the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC) and the Higg Index suite of tools it has developed to monitor the social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry's global supply chain. The SAC found itself obliged to…
  • Tuesday, 09 August 2022

    Finding value in waste Premium Article

    On the return of the Future Fabrics Expo, a programme rich in diverse thinking coincided with the usual fabric displays. It was there that one panel discussion explored the vast potential of waste agriculture.
  • Tuesday, 02 August 2022

    Tracing solution eases sourcing concerns Premium Article

    In a quiet corner of rural North Yorkshire, Agroisolab UK is championing new technology which it believes has the potential to be a game changer in terms of tackling the textiles industry’s traceability problem. Whether or not fibres are what…
  • Thursday, 21 July 2022

    Whatever happened to Fairtrade cotton? Premium Article

    Fairtrade cotton promises to address both environmental and social challenges, yet it has often been overshadowed by other cotton standards despite Fairtrade having high consumer recognition by comparison. Now, with organic cotton seemingly in some…
  • Tuesday, 28 June 2022

    New climate rules too hot for some? Premium Article

    Tough new proposals to force companies to disclose their climate-related risks to investors in the US have been described as the Biden administration's most significant action so far on climate change. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),…
  • Monday, 27 June 2022

    International Accord to spread its wings? Premium Article

    When fashion companies and trade unions agreed to set up a new body to hold brands accountable for workplace safety in Bangladesh last year, it was always intended that it would seek to expand to other garment manufacturing countries. Joris…
  • Wednesday, 15 June 2022

    The rise of the ‘guiltwashers’ Premium Article

    At the beginning of this century, life in the world of textiles was simple but concerning. Production was growing, consumption was expanding, and globalisation was happening at an alarming pace, with almost all textiles made using conventional…
  • Wednesday, 13 April 2022

    New technology to digitise consumer wardrobes Premium Article

    Jack Ostrowski, the founder of sustainability solutions provider Yellow Octopus, has developed a new consumer-facing app and brand plug-in to spark drastic changes within the fashion sector. His concept, the Loop Digital Wardrobe, strives to…
  • Tuesday, 12 April 2022

    Breaking point for organic cotton integrity Premium Article

    “Everyone is looking for business, not integrity.” So says one of our sources within the organic cotton sector – an industry dominated by large platforms, and a place where some experts are afraid to speak out publicly for fear of losing their…
  • Friday, 04 March 2022

    Textiles sector leads Pakistan's net zero bid Premium Article

    Net Zero Pakistan, the country's drive towards net zero carbon emissions in industry - was intended to be cross-sector but so far 95 per cent of the signatories come from the textiles sector. Saleha Asif, CEO of the Pakistan Textile Council, argues…
  • Wednesday, 23 February 2022

    China’s zero sense COVID-19 policy Premium Article

    Further regional lockdowns in China due to its zero-COVID strategy have caused severe supply chain bottlenecks accompanied by concerns on product quality, supply chain security and environmental safety. By doubling down on a draconian strategy that…
  • Wednesday, 16 February 2022

    Brands explore fashion resales potential Premium Article

    With ecommerce marketplaces proving the scalability of the secondhand fashion space, resale tech specialists are now extending the appeal to brands and retailers. Although many in the industry have watched from the side-lines amidst the rise of the…
  • Tuesday, 15 February 2022

    Big Apple to force fashion industry to up its game Premium Article

    New York is set to be the first US state to implement its own fashion sustainability law. Major brands and retailers would have to reveal what they are doing to reduce their environmental and social impacts, with heavy penalties for those which fall…
  • Monday, 14 February 2022

    The trillion dollar question Premium Article

    Achieving net zero by 2050 could cost the textile industry an estimated US$1 trillion. Here, the president of the Apparel Impact Institute (AII) tells Ecotextile News why - and how - we must foot the bill. Clothing has always represented our…
  • Monday, 20 December 2021

    This marriage could one day revolutionise dyeing Premium Article

    I’m a textile dyer and, with over 30 years’ experience in the industry I’ve seen a few things come and go in terms of the ‘next big thing’ but the fundamentals of how dyes remain intact and attached (or not) to fibres hasn’t changed one bit. Some…
  • Monday, 13 December 2021

    Viscose manufacturers scale 'alternative' fibres Premium Article

    The race to bring next generation materials to market at scale is on.” That was the message from Nicole Rycroft, the executive director of environmental non-profit Canopy after man-made cellulosic fibre (MMCF) manufacturers Lenzing and Birla…
  • Monday, 13 December 2021

    BGMEA - brands will pay more for sustainability Premium Article

    After going from strength to strength over the last four decades, Bangladesh's garment industry suffered something of a shock last year when it fell behind Vietnam as a sourcing destination. That was largely down to the impact of the COVID-19…
  • Wednesday, 08 December 2021

    VF Corporation sets new sustainability goals Premium Article

    The VF Corporation fashion giant has confirmed it will source all of its cotton from the US, Australia or certified environmental cotton sources by 2025, as it releases new goals on sustainability and transparency. Through its newly-released 'Made…
  • Monday, 06 December 2021

    Brands face legal threat over chemical in socks Premium Article

    More than 60 apparel companies could be sued under California Prop 65 chemical regulations after high levels of the endocrine disruptor bisphenol A (BPA) was found in women’s and children’s branded socks. The first stages of litigation have already…
  • Thursday, 21 October 2021

    One year on: UK's Textile Circularity Centre Premium Article

    At the end of a dismal 2020 came optimism, courtesy of a newly launched research facility to “stimulate innovation and economic growth in UK textile manufacturing”. The Textiles Circularity Centre (TCC) was the focus of £5.4 million in funding last…
  • Thursday, 21 October 2021

    Accelerating Circularity kicks off US trials Premium Article

    More than 22 US companies are now taking part in ongoing trials to collect, sort and recycle waste clothes in a bid to ramp up textile-to-textile circularity to commercial scale. Clothing retailers and brands such as VF Corporation, Gap Inc and…
  • Monday, 18 October 2021

    Reducing energy in textile wet processing Premium Article

    The subject of sustainability in textiles has been around for the last couple of decades and, whilst there have been a few common threads, there is a tendency for priorities to change and for certain topics to be ‘flavour of the month’. Typically,…
  • Tuesday, 12 October 2021

    Eight-point climate plan for EU textiles Premium Article

    As director of the Swedish Textile Initiative for Climate Change, I believe the proposed EU Textile Strategy may be the industry’s best and only chance to transform the apparel industry at the pace and scale required to help mitigate climate change.…
  • Tuesday, 05 October 2021

    Update to Textile Standards website Premium Article

    MCL News & Media has updated its textilestandards.com website with the addition of 10 further standards that cover environmental and social issues in the textile industry. Previously included industry tools and standards have also been updated to…
  • Monday, 04 October 2021

    Can cotton cool climate change? Premium Article

    When it comes to considering the carbon footprint of the fashion and textiles industry, most of us tend to focus on coal-powered factories in countries like China and Vietnam and the shipping of garments halfway around the world to western stores.…
  • Tuesday, 17 August 2021

    Addressing denim's water problem... Premium Article

    Evidence on water availability and consumption, published by reliable voices such as the United Nations and the World Bank, suggests the global denim industry needs to take a close look at itself. It needs to ask what it's doing to reduce its water…
  • Monday, 16 August 2021

    C&A confirms anticipated nearshoring trend Premium Article

    Fashion retailer C&A will next year open a new €4 million state-of-the-art denim factory in the Germany city of Mönchengladbach on the former site of textile machinery supplier Monforts. The new ‘Factory for Innovation in Textiles’ (FIT) will be a…
  • Friday, 13 August 2021

    Breakthrough salt-free dyeing process Premium Article

    UK scientists claim to have invented an ultra-low liquor ratio dyeing process for cotton that requires no salt – and has already being proven to work in commercial scale trials. Making large-scale industrial dyeing processes more efficient is what…
  • Thursday, 12 August 2021

    Too many initiatives - too little funding? Premium Article

    It's all Bill Clinton's fault, apparently. Back in the 1990s, the US President reacted to fears that major brands were having their clothes and footwear made in sweatshops by setting up the Apparel Industry Partnership rather than pursuing a…
  • Thursday, 29 July 2021

    Voice technology trialled in cotton fields Premium Article

    KARACHI – The Better Cotton Initiative has announced a pilot trial of ‘Worker Voice Technology’ to understand the challenges people face, especially regarding labour. What are the expected benefits, and are there any risks? Asks Simon Ferrigno.
  • Wednesday, 30 June 2021

    Modular Fashion – the next big thing? Premium Article

    Some might use the term ‘multi-functional’, others prefer ‘convertible’ or 'adaptable’. The semantics may vary but, conceptually speaking, modular fashion translates into a garment, shoe or accessory that changes shape or form for different…
  • Wednesday, 09 June 2021

    Why factory auditors turn up unannounced Premium Article

    Recent issues relating to pay and working conditions in the UK garment manufacturing industry have understandably put the spotlight on factory audits. I must stress from the outset that I am not an expert ‘social’ auditor so, when it comes to…
  • Monday, 07 June 2021

    Can traceability solutions combat greenwashing? Premium Article

    In our last issue, we discussed the widespread problem of ‘greenwashing’ in the textile and fashion industries and how this new, dangerous culture of exaggerating sustainability claims not only blindsides consumers, but threatens to sabotage the…
  • Wednesday, 26 May 2021

    IWTO Congress: Let’s Talk Wool Premium Article

    Regenerative practices, local wool with provenance, and transparency; all were top of the agenda in a wide-ranging discussion that even spun its way into wool as a carbon sink. Not all things wool end up in textiles, increasingly some now end up in…
  • Friday, 21 May 2021

    Greenwashing threatens sustainability legitimacy Premium Article

    As the number of businesses manufacturing and selling more ‘sustainable’ products continues to rise, so too do cases of ‘greenwashing’, representing a moral conundrum for consumers and a threat to the legitimacy of the fashion and textile…
  • Thursday, 20 May 2021

    Regenerative farming - just another buzzword? Premium Article

    As the buzz in the fashion sector around ‘regenerative agriculture’ continues to grow, we take another look at what this actually means, how it’s defined, what practices it includes, what is different from existing production systems and how is it…
  • Thursday, 29 April 2021

    Why legislation is vital to accelerate progress Premium Article

    Even as a very small handful of leading brands and retailers begin to meaningfully reduce the environmental footprint of their business, the overall impacts of the apparel industry, which are shockingly large, are still accruing faster than the…
  • Monday, 12 April 2021

    Are the robots coming for garment workers? Premium Article

    As far back as the early 19th century, the Luddites took to breaking the factory machinery that threatened to replace them in violent protests which ended only after mill and factory owners called in the British Army. Fast forward two centuries and…
  • Friday, 09 April 2021

    Death knell sounded for Chinese cotton? Premium Article

    Brands and retailers are currently under immense pressure from Chinese politicians and consumers to continue using cotton from the country's Xinjiang region despite forced labour concerns. However, import restrictions triggered by human rights…
  • Wednesday, 07 April 2021

    COVID 19: one year on Premium Article

    Fashion brands and retailers immediately identified the economic threat to their businesses as all but essential shops closed to protect the global population from the novel coronavirus in March 2020. But they were not quite so quick to spot the…
  • Wednesday, 24 March 2021

    Feminising the fashion future? Premium Article

    The week-long 23rd International Conference for Sustainable Innovation 2021 attracted around 400 delegates from over 25 countries for an online event that put accelerating sustainability in fashion, clothing, sportswear and accessories centre stage.…
  • Tuesday, 23 February 2021

    Textile chemical regulation continues to evolve Premium Article

    Although life as we know it has been placed on hold for much of the last year or so, the legislative wheels have continued to turn and, for those working at home without access to the usual company or multi-stakeholder meetings, there are a few…
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