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  • Well since I was a kid I don't know ifwould call myself an environmentalist  

  • but I always fell in love with nature.

  • I am Marc Palahi, the director of  the European Forest Institute.

  • I am originally from Barcelona. Now living in the middle of the  

  • forest here in Finland. Our forests are hosting 80%  

  • of all the biodiversity globally. They are our largest terrestrial carbon sink.  

  • And the good news is that with  the emerging technologies,  

  • we can transform that wood into a totally new  range of innovative bio-based solutions.  

  • Fashion is an incredible sector. It's a $3 trillion business.  

  • The fashion industry is responsible for around  5% of the global greenhouse emissions.  

  • So it's also responsible for 20%  of the global wastewater.  

  • And the fact that we are using  oil-based materials like polyester  

  • also generates a big problem of  microplastics in our oceans.  

  • The change that we need to  put forward is massive  

  • if you consider that we are producing roughly  100 million tons of textile fibres today.  

  • Wood is the only significant alternative  for the textile sector.  

  • We can transform wood into a new generation  of sustainable bio-based textile fibres,  

  • The tree does the same thing as the cotton  plant. It actually produces cellulose.  

  • In the case of wood, what you do, is you  need to get it somehow out of the tree,  

  • you need to dissolve it. It's  very comparable to the paper  

  • industry.  

  • You dissolve the cellulose and then  it looks, in the end, like honey.  

  • And then you blow air onto it and then  the molecules start to arrange,  

  • and suddenly you get a very beautiful fibre. There has been a lot of  

  • investment in innovation, to make wood based textiles sustainable.  

  • This means using circular systems, where  the chemicals are 99% circulated.  

  • There is Lyocell, Ioncell and maybe  you have heard about Tencell,  

  • which is the way that Lenzing commercialised. But there are many other now technologies.  

  • And there is even now a Finnish startup  called Spinnova, which does not use even  

  • chemicals at all. To buy a sustainable piece of garment,  

  • the difference between an  environmentally acceptable choice  

  • and an unacceptable choice is  as small as 20 - 30 cents.  

  • I know that H&M is very interested in moving  towards sustainable wood-based textiles.  

  • I know that Nike also is trying to  promote recycling to produce their  

  • own footwear products. So I think the movement is  

  • taking place from many different brands

  • and using different sustainability strategies, but  I think all converging into the same point  

  • that we need sustainable materials and we need  sustainable processes.  

  • Patagonia, Stella McCartney, they were indeed  trailblazers who I think made the theme  

  • more acceptable for more High  Street, you know, normal fashion  

  • brands. NGOs started to work on  

  • the brands. Consumers started to wake up.

  • Consumers put, you know, pressure  on the total value chain.  

  • Consumers put pressure on governmentsGovernments wake up to the challenge.  

  • We get an EU Green Deal, and things  just start to fall into place.  

  • And I think whether we want it or notthe whole industry will follow.  

  • We really need to connect both  technology and nature.  

  • I think this will be the  secret of the 21st century,  

  • connecting technology and nature to really rethink our economy.  

  • And I think now the secret in the  coming decades is to recognise  

  • that the true purpose, and the true  engine of our economy is nature.

Well since I was a kid I don't know ifwould call myself an environmentalist  

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B1 US FinancialTimes sustainable wood textile fashion based

How the fashion industry is turning to forests for the fibres of the future | Rethink Sustainability

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/22
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