Green Exchange

BIOECONOMY & SUSTAINABLE FASHION SERIES – INTRODUCTION

What If You Could Eat Your Shirt?

You probably know the feeling: You’re doing some cleaning in your wardrobe, and find an old shirt you haven’t been wearing for a while. What to do with it? Give it away? Throw it in the bin as usual? Does it actually get re-used or recycled? By who? How? The numbers are actually quite scary and it seems that the whole textile industry can’t hide its dirty secret anymore. Creating closed loops is very difficult, but not impossible. The whole sector is extremely energy and water intensive. Cotton production is unsustainable most of the time, and reaching its limit already, with demand for fibres set to increase threefold by 2050.

This may be a good occasion to look at alternative materials to make our clothes out of, no? How about bio-materials such as wood fibres, algae, fish skin, milk fibres… Are they relevant alternatives? Or are we going to create more problems? Let’s find out.

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EPISODE 1

BIOECONOMY & SUSTAINABLE FASHION #1: THE TRUE POWER OF FISH LEATHER

Music Credits: License by Ins. Green White Space.
Photo by atlanticleather

This episode launches a new series dedicated to a growing trend that definitely deserves some attention: Producing textiles from bio-materials. The theme raises a lot of questions and as we are investigating the sector in-depth at the moment, we thought we would share our findings! We start with reviewing the potential of fish leather, its potential impact and discuss the implications we should anticipate when trying to make it mainstream.

MADE POSSIBLE BY: NORDEN and Malmö Cleantech City

This episode features views from Halldora Eydis (Fashion Designer, Iceland) & Geir Oddsson (Senior Advisor at the Nordic Council of Ministers).

TO DIG DEEPER

One ton of hide or skin generally produces 20 to 80 m3 of waste water, including chromium levels of 100–400 mg/l, sulfide levels of 200–800 mg/l, high levels of fat and other solid wastes, and notable pathogen contamination. Producers often add pesticides to protect hides during transport. With solid wastes representing up to 70% of the wet weight of the original hides, the tanning process represents a considerable strain on water treatment installations.”
Environmental Guidelines for Tanning and Leather Finishing

“Globally, fisheries and aquaculture industries produce 130 million tonnes of fish waste per annum. This consists of bycatch, onboard waste, home waste and industrial waste”
Waste not, want not:Better utilization of fish waste in the Pacific

Cow leather not always a byproduct of the meat industry.
Can Leather Be Eco-Friendly…Ever?

Fish leather is made from fish skin, a by-product of the fish industry.
The Guardian – Prada, Dior and Nike are finding a fashionable new purpose for fish skins

“35% of fish and seafood is lost or wasted”
FAO – Nature’s superfood: 10 interesting facts on fish and nutrition

EPISODE 2

BIOECONOMY & SUSTAINABLE FASHION #2: FROM WOOD FIRE TO WOOD FIBRES: A MORE SUSTAINABILE FUTURE FOR FORESTRY?

Music Credits: License by Ins. Green White Space.

The forestry sector is facing multiple challenges all over the globe. In Europe, the declining demand for printing paper and the growing global competition among producers threaten the sector. Wood is also used to produce heat, and today, a large number of environmentalists and experts oppose this carbon intensive activity, pointing to more long-term solutions instead. Forestry needs to figure out new products that can be made out of cellulosic fibres, like textiles for instance!

MADE POSSIBLE BY: NORDEN

What does the process of making wood fibre look like, and is it sustainable? What will it take for the forestry sector to show a promising future? This episode features views from Dagfinn Hoybråten (Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers), Sven-Erik Bucht (Swedish Minister of Rural Affairs), Tobias Köhnke (Cellutex), and Sigrid Barnekow (MISTRA Future Fashion).

TO DIG DEEPER

UN DATA

Pulp for Paper Production by Country

Data from INTRACEN

Wood pulp is the nr. 2 in Finnish export to China