The Challenge

The Man-made cellulosic fibres (MMCF) industry faces social and environmental challenges, from deforestation and biodiversity impacts related to sourcing to chemical mismanagement and labour rights concerns in the production process. With the industry in the spotlight and on the verge of massive growth, there is a narrow window to address these pressures.

The good news is that MMCF including viscose, modal and lyocell, have the potential to move the textile industry towards greater sustainability. Progress is being driven by several initiatives that address specific environmental and social issues in the MMCF value chain, including traceability, investment in cutting-edge technology, movements in policy and brand sourcing norms.

However, the need remains for a cohesive vision of sustainability, and adoption of good practices throughout the value chain.  Unless we recognise the inter-relationship between different issues in the value chain, we will continue to miss the opportunity for more positive change.

Our solution

The solution does not require the creation of a new mega-standard, but for stakeholders to align on common goalposts in the journey towards greater sustainability. There is broad consensus on the usefulness of developing a shared vision that takes the full system into account and sets out the role of MMCF in a sustainable future. 

Forum for the Future, in partnership with Textile Exchange, will be working with stakeholders relevant to the MMCF ecosystem to develop this shared vision. We aim to arrive at a powerful vision of the net positive future of MMCF. Net Positive is a new way of doing business which puts back more into society, the environment and the global economy than it takes out. It asks for organisations to be ambitious and plan for long-term success, going beyond risk avoidance and incremental improvements towards true innovation. Such a vision could include:

  • The role the industry will play in ensuring we stay within planetary boundaries, including its contribution to addressing the climate emergency
  • Commitment to social uplift and human rights across the MMCF value chain, and
  • Realising the full potential of MMCF in offering circular solutions for the fashion and textiles sector

To this end, we are engaging with key stakeholders to gather diverse perspectives on their vision for Net Positive MMCF, which will be used in highly interactive workshops, including at Textile Exchange’s 2019 Textile Sustainability Conference in Vancouver on 18 October 2019. 

Benefits of joining 

The underlying aim of building a shared vision, and aligning all initiatives to bring that into fruition, is for the entire value chain to progress from minimizing negative impacts to creating a transformational positive impact. The organisations supporting the MMCF industry can use this vision to inform their strategy for driving change, and businesses can use it to set the direction for sustainability in their value chain.

Join us 

Join us and stakeholders from across the system in building a shared vision, to unlock the next ambitious steps towards a radically more sustainable industry – as a participant, advisory partner or funding partner

Contact Anna Warrington for more information [email protected]

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