The textile and fashion sector can and must contribute to the recovery of ecosystems and our health. We must ensure that over time we produce fewer or no harmful side effects.
The clothing industry has a huge influence on the well-being of our planet. It is important that we drastically reduce the enormous amount of polluting harmful textiles and clothing. These materials pollute our earth during their entire life cycle. Not only during the extraction of raw materials (oil, cotton, etc.) but also during the entire life cycle: washing, dyeing, transport, use, washing and waste processing.
Synthetic substances are very harmful, as they continue to contaminate throughout their life cycle. It is estimated that 35% of all microplastics enter the ocean from washing polyester clothing (IUCN). In the Netherlands, 65% of what we wear is synthetic, i.e. plastic! We often don't realize this. The cheap raw material made from petroleum has contributed greatly to the tremendous growth in cheap and unsustainable clothing.
In the future we must ensure that there are far fewer or no harmful side effects.
As an alternative to these harmful raw materials, multiple types of natural and animal fibers must be grown and processed as quickly as possible. These natural fibers can be grown in a regenerative manner in such a way that the absorption of CO2 is maximized, so that these fibers make a positive contribution to the recovery of ecosystems. This can be done by making textiles and clothing biodegradable and keeping the supply chain as short and local as possible.
Wool can play an important role in this. Wool is one of the few materials that is completely circular.