31 March 2021
Necessity is the mother of invention and there are moves afoot for long-time enemies cotton and wool to join forces.
And that would make sense since wool and cotton believe they both have the same eco-friendly credentials to challenge for better environmental ratings in European markets.
International Wool Textile Organisation secretary general Dalena White recently spoke at the panel for Responsible Fibre Production in Germany, chaired by Cotton Incorporated senior vice president Mark Messura.
Ms White said under the current European ratings systems, products made from wool and cotton are at risk of being rated poorly compared to synthetics.
The proposed rating rules for textiles (designed largely by the European Commission) result in all-natural fibres being rated as less sustainable than synthetic fibres.
- Renewable and biodegradable fibres do not receive any positive scoring
- Natural fibres are fully costed for the environmental impacts of growing the plants that lead to fibre formation (including use of the land, water and energy used, greenhouse gas emissions).
- Petroleum based fibres receive no penalties for being non-renewable and non-biodegradable.
- Microplastic pollution does not carry any negative scoring.
"All natural fibre industries, including plant and animal fibres are at risk of being harmed if the EU PEF labelling scheme proceeds without improvement” said Australian Wool Innovation program manager Angus Ireland.
Tune in next week as we continue this story for Woolly Wednesday.
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