Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - 44

[ MARKETS ] ADVANCED TEXTILES
are among the basic issues facing
producers every day.
StartUs Insights, which provides
industry research services, chose " sustainable
supply chain " for the number
4 slot on its " Discover the Top 8 Trends
in the Textile Industry (2024) " list. It
also says that the textile industry is
" one of the largest contributors to environmental
pollution. "
Textile enterprises often turn to
What it means for a
business or product
to be " sustainable " is
a complex question.
Recycling, water use,
energy use, harmful
chemicals, waste
generation, supply chain
and landfilled singleuse
products are among
the basic issues facing
producers every day.
services, such as those provided by
many research firms and academic
institutions, to help them navigate the
process of supply chain due diligence.
According to the German research
and testing company Hohenstein, due
diligence means that a company is
responsible for protecting human rights
and the environment throughout its
supply chain, encompassing its business
partners' operations as well as its own.
The industry also continues to
struggle with the recycling of textile
waste and discarded textile products.
TheRoundup.org, a website dedicated
to promoting environmental awareness
and sustainability, published an article
on April 11, 2023 ( " 17 Most Worrying
Textile Waste Statistics & Facts " ) that
lists several key points, including that
the world produces 92 million tons of
textile waste every year. Furthermore,
87% of the materials and fibers used to
make clothing alone will end up either
in incinerators or landfills, and only
20% of discarded textiles are collected.
To curtail " greenwashing, " the
European Parliament recently passed
a directive to regulate labeling.
SportsTextiles.com reported on the
EU's directive that aims to " make
product labeling clearer and more
trustworthy " by banning the use
of general environmental claims
(environmentally friendly, natural,
biodegradable, climate neutral or eco)
without providing proof.
44 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / April 2024
Novel materials
StartUs Insights, which identifies the
industry's main environmental issues
as water and air pollution, greenhouse
gases, and chemical discharge, says
that " novel fabrics and advanced
manufacturing technologies are major
textile industry trends. " In fact, it put
the development of novel textiles at the
top of its trends list largely because of
these environmental issues.
Artificial intelligence
At this point, the big question is
where, exactly, AI will take hold first
within the larger textile industry. With
a chronic shortage of trained and
experienced employees, AI technology
could help to bridge that gap. It could
help speed up the product development
process from design through
prototyping to scaling up production.
MarketsandMarkets calls artificial
intelligence a " megatrend " in a white
paper accessible via its website. It
identifies AI as " the primary driver of
growing technologies, such as robotics,
big data, and IoT [the Internet of
Things]. ... AI has the potential to add
value to business workflows, augment
employee capabilities and harness the
power of man and machine to improve
customer experience. "
Marie O'Mahony, Ph.D., is an industry consultant,
author and academic based in London, England.
Janet Preus is senior editor of Textile Technology Source.
She can be reached at janet.preus@textiles.org.
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Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024

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Specialty Fabrics Review April 2024 - 1
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