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WAKEFIELD – For the first of a new three-part series in our Ecotextile Talks podcast, produced in partnership with the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), our host Philip Berman is joined by two leading figures behind an ambitious attempt to reduce the fashion industry’s carbon footprint.

Berman enjoys a wide-ranging discussion on the Aii’s Climate Solutions Portfolio with the organisation’s chief impact officer Kurt Kipka and environmental scientist and consultant Linda Greer.

The Climate Solutions Portfolio issues grants to organisations worth $50,000–$250,000 per year to fund new initiatives or technologies with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the industry.

Both Kipka and Greer sit on the advisory panel which decides where the money goes – and they tell Berman why they believe it can play a big role in decarbonising the sector.

Greer said: “I think it is a unique opportunity to make a difference. For more than a decade, I've been trying to pivot this industry into activities that lead to serious reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions and for me, this is an opportunity to make it happen.”

She also hoped that, as well as providing funding, the Climate Solutions Portfolio could meet an industry need for a database of technologies which have been shown to reduce carbon emissions.

Kipka agreed, adding: “It takes experience and expertise in deploying these types of processes to truly validate if one piece of equipment is a good idea, and two, once it’s implemented, is it actually effective?

“What we’re doing with the CSP is meeting this need within the industry for an organisation to say ‘yes, this is good’, or ‘this needs more work, this needs more data’. I do truly think it's going to be something that helps to continue catalysing the industry towards achieving these goals."

And Greer tells listeners that, despite the scale of funding available for successful innovations, the initiative is not yet overwhelmed by applications.

“What we anticipate is that, as the word gets out, people will apply and that eventually we will have the problem that we have too many great applications,” she said.

“But at the moment – if you're listening to this podcast – be assured that that is not the case right now and that we are very much in the market for excellent applications.”

Episode one of the Threaded Together podcast series can be found HERE, while the second episode is available HERE. For a look at our complete podcast archive, click HERE.

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