Anna Warrington (Director, India, Forum for the Future), Cynthia Morel (Senior Sustainability Strategist, Forum for the Future), and Simone Seisl (Consultant, Textile Exchange) take stock of the small wins that have happened since launching the Man-Made Cellulosic Fibres 2030 vision, and examine what else is needed to accelerate the sector's transformation towards one that is resilient and regenerative.

The year since the industry launched the Man Made Cellulosic Fibres 2030 Vision (MMCF 2030) has been a hard one. Everywhere you look, evidence of climate change picking up pace is clear, and countless people are already living with the turmoil it brings. The floods in Europe, India, Pakistan and China; the extreme heat in the US and Canada; the wildfires in Southern Europe, the US and Siberia; more frequent and extreme hurricanes and cyclones; and severe drought in California, Brazil, Balochistan and Canada. The climate emergency has never been so urgent. 

To add insult to injury, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the multiple faultlines in our relationship with nature and each other, our social justice systems, and the way global economies operate. It has shaken the basic foundations societies require to flourish, and provided stark lessons on how far we are from having the resilience we need to face the climate crisis.

But hope should not be lost. Incredible stories of human courage, compassion and ingenuity shine through from the dual emergencies. The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has triggered conversations and reflection across the world. Communities are rallying around refugees, working together to clear flood damage or locate survivors. Adversity can bring out the best in us, and it has certainly not diminished the ambition of the MMCF sector. In fact, a more regenerative and just MMCF sector is rapidly becoming one of the smart answers to these challenges.

Small wins towards achieving the MMCF 2030 Vision

The industry stands by its ambitions to build resilience and accelerate regeneration by regenerating ecosystems, producing with zero harm, enabling circular systems, creating prosperity and upholding rights. Over the last year, Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future have been working with the industry to decide how best to support this vision into fruition. 

There is no doubt that progress is being made. The industry has moved forward in the face of the pandemic, achieving among other things: the attainment of EU BAT criteria in several plants including in India; the launch of the Collaboration for Sustainable Development of Viscose (CV) Roadmap 2025 by Chinese industry players; more Green Shirts in the latest update of the Hot Button report from Canopy; the uptake of the suite of ZDHC Guidelines on wastewater and closed loop production; the launch of several organisational visions that align with MMCF 2030; and the work on accelerating and scaling innovation on circular textiles by the Full Circle Textiles Group orchestrated by Fashion for Good. 

High profile cases affecting the MMCF value chain like the alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang remind us that there is still some distance to go before we achieve the vision however, and the recent climate impacts tell us that we must act with ever more urgency.

The industry also needs a way of taking stock of this progress against the vision, of celebrating and learning from progress (and failures), and also for collectively addressing the gaps in a way that brings benefit across all areas of impact. 

Roadmap to the MMCF 2030 Vision

Textile Exchange, the home of the trusted, accessible and independent MMCF Roundtable, has focused its new Climate+ strategy squarely on the role the textile and apparel industries have in tackling the climate emergency and its companion crises in water, biodiversity and soil health. The importance of the social aspects, such as climate justice, within this are significant, particularly in industries already vulnerable to labour and human rights risks.   

Over many conversations across industry stakeholders it has become clear that the MMCF Roundtable, as it emerges through the Climate+ strategy, will be the right home for the MMCF 2030 Vision. Through its evolved engagement and knowledge sharing platforms, the desire is that the industry will be able to share the ambition of the vision, learn together as they enact various initiatives across its pillars, celebrate progress, and collectively identify where there is more to be done as an integral part of participating in the Roundtable. 

As Textile Exchange undergoes a robust process of building fibre-specific Climate+ Roadmaps, MMCF will be considered over the coming months with the intention of weaving the MMCF 2030 Vision ambitions into this Roadmap. 

The members of the Steering Group for the MMCF Roundtable will be involved in this process, and people and organisations beyond this group are invited to participate in its development by joining the Hub community. We look forward to sharing the MMCF Climate+ Roadmap, integrating the MMCF 2030 Vision, at the end of 2021.

What you can do now:

  • To join the Hub please contact the Textile Exchange MMCF team via [email protected] 
  • Read more about the Climate+ Strategy here
  • Find out more about the MMCF 2030 Vision here