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Editorial: Biodegradability, hybrids and recycling: routes to sustainability in the fibre, textile and apparel industry?
published in Issue 185, April 2017
Reflecting the growing importance of environmental sustainability, themes of recent editions of Performance Days – a functional fabric fair held in Munich, Germany – have included biodegradability, hybrids and recycling. Two of these topics are especially timely as manufacturers are looking increasingly at making fibres biodegradable and using recycled materials to address the growing environmental problem caused by waste. Worldwide, millions of tons of clothing and textile waste are thrown away each year – and most of this ends up in landfill. Unless radical steps are taken, this problem can only get worse. Manufacturers have responded by introducing fibres which are biodegradable. Also, many of these fibres are derived from renewable resources such as corn, sugar cane or cellulose as opposed to non-renewable resources such as petroleum. Additionally, it is claimed that the production of these "bio-based" fibres results in lower greenhouse gas emissions and a reduction in energy consumption. Manufacturers are also making fibres from recycled materials and these are attracting the interest of retailers including Zara. In this report, Robin Anson identifies a number of fibre types and brands which could help to reduce the impact of textile and clothing waste on the environment. However, he cautions that not all bio-based based fibres are biodegradable, and not all biodegradable fibres are bio-based. Also, devoting agricultural land to growing crops for fibres at the expense of food crops has proved controversial. There is also controversy over the recycling of garments by giving them a "second life". While some of these garments are sold in charity shops in developed countries, many are shipped to developing countries where they undermine employment in indigenous clothing industries.
Six times a year, Textile Outlook International provides up to 200 pages of expert comment and analysis. A subscription provides an overview of the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. It is essential reading for senior executives in the fibre, textile and apparel industries and for anyone who is not involved in the industry, but needs to quickly gain an understanding of the key issues.
Reports in Textile Outlook International include:
country profiles providing a comprehensive guide to the textile and clothing industries in a range of countries and regions. The reports include an economic and political profile together with a comprehensive overview of the main issues, plus an outlook for the future.
company profiles giving you the opportunity to learn from strategies employed by others. Companies profiled recently include retailers, manufacturers, innovators and sourcing companies involved in textiles and apparel as well as smaller companies which illustrate the opportunities for firms which are interested in selected sourcing locations.
trends in world textile and apparel trade and production taking into account current issues facing the industry such as global fibre prices; competition from China and other low cost countries; the elimination of quotas and imposition of selective new ones; relocation of production operations; the impact of economic factors affecting trade; international trade agreements; trade promotion agreements (TPAs); and much more.
trends in EU and US imports of textiles and clothing providing comprehensive statistical data and analysis of the top ten supplying countries to the EU and US markets. These reports are updated each year and contain value and volume data as well as average prices and analyses of trends for up to 15 product categories.
innovations, technological developments, business development opportunities, individual sector analysis and political implications which affect players in the global fibre, textile and apparel industries. Some of the topics which have been covered in recent reports include: new innovations in the textile and clothing industry, such as environmentally friendly textiles, plant based fibres, and developments in textile colorants; innovations in textile machinery; and overviews of the European swimwear, hosiery and lingerie markets.
So whether you are involved in fibres, textiles or clothing in manufacturing, spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, import/export, retailing or if you are in education or consultancy or investment or finance, a subscription to Textile Outlook International will tell you what you need to know about the key trends in the industry.
Textile Outlook International is available on subscription either in printed format only, or in printed and electronic format. If you choose the printed only option, you will receive 6 printed publications a year, containing a total of 30 reports plus editorials written by Robin Anson, our editorial director and in-house industry expert.
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In addition, you will be able to download PDF files containing the same information but the PDF files will be available immediately on publication, so you dont have to wait for the printing and mailing. You also have all the benefits of electronic files: instant access even when you are away from the office; convenient storage in your PC or laptop; portability; electronic search facility; and copy/paste facility.
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