Closed loop functional fabrics? Collaboration required…

Sustainability and circularity are becoming increasingly important in the textile supply chain. According to the conclusions of the Performance Days Functional Fabrics Online Fair, apart from the growing interest for natural and renewable fibres, there are several trends to watch in the coming period:

  • Shift towards recycled synthetics. Because of the growing demand from designers and developers, fabric mills have increased their offer of recycled synthetics over the last few seasons in order to reduce environmental impact.
  • Mono-material fabrics for closed-loop recycling. One of the key strategies to enable textile-to-textile recycling is to develop mono-material fabrics and components. In that way, complex separation of different raw materials types can be avoided at end-of-life.
  • Completing the biological cycle. The alternative to keeping materials in circulation as long as possible is to ensure that they are compostable or biodegradable, so they can fully revert to nature as organic matter without causing any harm.
  • Functional fabrics innovation for a circular system. While reduced waste and closed-loop concepts provide a clear vision for a circular fabrics’ future, the reality of being able to close both technical and biological loops requires increased collaborative work between fabric mills, brands and recycling and composting technology innovators.