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Microfibers in focus at recent Planet Textiles

Planet Textiles was held in Canada, May 22. Textile technology that can recycle discarded clothing to produce both petroleum and plant-based monomers, unique technology to improve the biodegradability of polyester, new textile dyes from biosynthetic and wood-based feedstocks and new ways to produce viscose fibers from food and beverage waste streams were just some of the innovations presented.

The event attracted delegates from Australia, China, Taiwan, India, Bangladesh as well as a heavy European contingent. Textile microfiber pollution featured strongly on the conference program delegates were taken through the development of a new standardised test method for textile microfiber release during washing. Intrinsic Textiles revealed a new process for breaking down polyester microfibers not only in wastewater treatment sludge, but also for breaking down these synthetic microfibers in seawater and other environments.

There were three packed breakout sessions on textile chemistry in water use, transparency in the manmade fiber sector in relation to deforestation, and how to leverage financing mechanisms to scale sustainable innovation in the apparel sector.

The goal for Planet Textiles is to help the textile industry find more harmonized sustainable solutions, as now more than ever, the industry—and the consumer—are calling for transparency and products to be made more sustainably.