"Responsible fibre production systems of the future must include responsible fibre consumption."

07 April 2021

Said Dalena White, secretary general of the International Wool Textile Organisation.

Yet, the fashion industry has evolved a highly lucrative business model enabled by massive growth in fossil fuel-based fibres to turn out low quality garments by the lowest labour rate available year in and year out.

As FYCT reported previously 114 billion new items were produced in 2019 - that is 15 new items per person on the planet!

This is further compounded under the proposed EU rating system for textiles, that doesn't reward the attributes of natural raw materials and doesn't penalise key environmental impacts of fossil fuel-based raw materials.

Under the skewed rating system, brand purchasing managers would look for alternative fibres with 'better' ratings and the demand for wool and cotton would fall.

Unlike fossil fuel-based fibres, wool and cotton are indefinitely renewable. They can be grown again year after year.

This is where a potential alliance between cotton and wool is seen as important.

Yet, Ms White highlights that “to establish responsible textile and fibre production standards for the future, we will have to face the elephant in the room: our addiction to fast fashion."

Stay tuned next week for our concluding part of this story for Woolly Wednesday.


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