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Textiles Intelligence

Fast track: biomaterials—the key to sustainability?

This report explores the opportunities for biomaterials, describes the classification of biomaterials, and provides an overview of innovations in this area.

3rd March 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  United Kingdom

Knitted Outerwear, Household

Report summary

The textile and apparel industry has long been under pressure to reduce its reliance on virgin synthetic fibres—including acrylic, nylon and polyester—which are derived from non-renewable resources. At the same time, consumers are increasingly demanding and apparel products which are environmentally sustainable.

Biomaterials are assumed to be environmentally sustainable because they are associated with renewable natural resources or living organisms as opposed to non-renewable resources such as petrochemicals. As a result, there is much interest in the development of biomaterials, including synthetic fibres derived from bio-based resources, artificial silk fibres, and artificial leather materials.

However, the route to sustainability using biomaterials is far from straightforward, and there is even some confusion regarding terminology associated with such materials. Furthermore, the textile and apparel industry is served by highly fragmented supply chains, thereby making the transition away from fibres derived from petrochemicals all the more complicated. However, significant progress is being made in the development of innovative and sustainable biomaterials, and some major programmes have been established to drive development in this area.

This report explores the opportunities for biomaterials, describes the classification of biomaterials, and provides an overview of innovations in this area. Also, it discusses the work of the BIOTEXFUTURE programme which, led by adidas and the ITA of RWTH Aachen University, is working to accelerate the widespread use of biomaterials in the textile and apparel industries.

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Publisher: Textiles Intelligence

Published in February 2021 

Report price: Euro 275.00; US$ 365.00 

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