Recap Sustainable materials webmeeting September 8th 2020

On September 8th, Modint hosted a sustainable materials webmeeting, together with the secretariat of the Agreement on Sustainable Garment and Textile (AGT), Solidaridad and FOUR PAWS. This meeting was powered by CLICK NL. Over 115 people, from more than 80 companies were present at this online event, a great turn-out. These are mostly brands and producers, big and small who are Modint members or signatories of the AGT. But also lecturers from schools and individuals found their way to our event.

The day was set up in two parts, a plenary part with informative and inspirational talks by both national and international speakers. Afterwards the registrants had the option of four break-out sessions to join for a deep-dive into the material of their choice.

Our hosts Nienke Steen from Modint and Joost de Bont from the AGT kicked of the day and informed on where the Dutch industry stands at this point and what the goals for the future are. Amanda Johnston from The Sustainable Angle gave a very inspirational talk about sustainable materials and in what way they lower the impact on the environment. It was a great mix of materials and fabrics that are already commercially available (which you can find at their virtual expo) and the ones to look out for in the near future. Next Lonneke de Kort from Control Union gave us all the insights on the most important certification schemes, and what to look out for. The final part of our plenary session was a duo presentation by Kim Poldner from The Hague University of applied sciences and Miriam Geelhoed from Modint. In the last 20 minutes they showed us different ways circular business models could be implemented in the fashion and textiles industry.

Around 11 o’clock the participants were asked to join the break-out session of their preference. Looking at the registrations it was clear that there was a particular interest in Circular textiles and synthetic materials. Wool only covers a few percent of the global (and Dutch) textile market. Cotton is widely used, but turns out the be well known by most of our participants.

-    The Cotton session was hosted by Solidaridad and Modint. The conversation started by some facts and figures about the cotton market, but current social risks in sourcing countries (particularly Uzbekistan and China) were the most discussed topic of the session.
-    FOUR PAWS hosted the break-out session on wool. The welfare of animals is always at risk in a commercial system. The most animal friendly choice is animal-free alternatives: Determine your vision, principles and policy, communicate them, and make sure you live up to it. 
-    The workshop about synthetics, hosted by the AGT, focused on impact and more sustainable options such as bio-based synthetics with sustainable textile expert Liesl Truscott of Textile Exchange. We can work with recycled PET bottles with the right certification, that can be considered as better material compared to virgin polyester, but the future will be focussed on bio based synthetic materials.
-    In the Circular textiles session Modint gave a concise overview of relevant policy developments in the Netherlands les – notably the Sectorplan and the Policy Programme Circular Textiles and the EPR intentions. Then two very informative presentations were provided by Wolkat – a Dutch textile recycling firm with real opportunities in their Moroccan mill on textile recycling and recycled content yarn spinning and weaving fabrics. And Bossa – a leading Turkish denim firm presented their vision, activities and denim collection with (post-consumer) recycled content.    

We are looking back on a very successful morning session together with some great partners. Besides all the information the participants already took home during the meeting, an innovative digital sustainable fabrics goodie bag was created. Since a physical fabric fair was not possible under the current circumstances, we created a way for fourteen fabric producers to show their most innovative or sustainable samples to our participants.

All the sessions and presentations are recorded and freely available for Modint members and signatories of the AGT. For more info, contact Modint.