Thread transforms trash that has been collected and sorted by local workers in Haiti — where mounds of plastic bottles clogging waterways are a common sight — into fabric sourced by brands such as Timberland, which is developing a line of sneakers and boots made with Thread’s "Ground to Good" fabric. The line will launch in the spring.
While recycling most certainly plays an important role in the shift to the development of a more circular, sustainable economy, it largely focuses on a product or material’s end of life. But recent initiatives and technological breakthroughs are helping more companies design environmental impacts out of their products’ life cycles.
Specifically, Professor Sun is examining the development of a biomass intermediate for the oxidation half reaction, which could offer a green, water-soluble polymer precursor to substitute such fossil fuel-derived polymers as polyethylene terephthalate or PET. PET is used in all types of household products, fabrics, furnishing, vehicle interiors, appliances, and more.
Avantium, a 2000 spin-off from Shell with technologies for converting plant sugars into biochemicals and polymers, says it will make an initial public offering of shares on two European stock exchanges by the end of March. Avantium says it will invest up to $80 million of the money it raises in its Synvina joint venture with BASF. The venture plans a 50,000-metric-ton-per-year plant for 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid, a sugar-derived intermediate for recyclable polyesters such as polyethylene furanoate (PEF).
Many different brands are making moves towards a more circular economy through textile innovation and consumer engagement. Recently, H&M debuted its new “Bring It” garment recycling campaign, as well as a new BIONIC-based Conscious Exclusive collection, while Kering announced the next stage of its ambitious sustainability plan. Now, Lenzing, G-Star and Patagonia are launching new initiatives to bring the fashion industry closer to closing the loop.
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