Fashion for Good launched the Renewable Carbon Textiles Project yesterday (10 June) bringing together a pioneering consortium to speed up the development of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) polymer fibres.
With the potential to bring down carbon emissions in the fashion supply chain, these fibres are considered good alternative to fossil-based fibres.
The Renewable Carbon Textiles Project brings together major industry players to investigate, test and validate solutions provided by innovators in PHA polymer space.
Notably, there are some big names associated with the project to provide both financial support and technical expertise!
Besides Laudes Foundation, which is providing catalytic funding, the collaborating partners include PVH Corp., Bestseller, Norrøna and the fabrics division of W.L. Gore & Associates.
Participating innovators Bio Craft Innovation (formerly Biomize), Full Cycle Bioplastics and Newlight Technologies contribute their solutions to validate their potential, providing insights to scale the industry in the long term.
Here it is important to mention that the PHA polymers offer a bio-based, marine and soil compostable solution to fossil-fuel derived polyester fibres, and could be a possible holy grail to decarbonising the fashion industry.
PHAs are produced through a fermentation process using various renewable carbon-based feedstocks. Emphasis is placed on using feedstocks that do not directly compete with food and feed crops, diverting biological feedstocks from landfill and utilising waste gases in the production of their fibres.
Katrin Ley, MD, Fashion for Good, says “There is an urgent need to find replacements for the predominantly fossil-based fibres in the fashion industry through solutions such as biosynthetics from renewable sources. PHA polymers represent an exciting, yet challenging solution for reducing carbon emissions in the fashion industry, and this project aims to drive further innovation in this space to bring them to scale.
This project focuses on validating the technical feasibility of the output, working with the Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute (NIRI) to run melt-spinning trials.
Alongside the technical feasibility study, the Renewable Carbon Textiles Project includes a range of degradation testing that will be conducted by Organic Waste Systems.