The key sustainable solution providers exhibiting at this year's Copenhagen Fashion Summit.
"The expansion of CFS to two days indicates a need for greater and more tangible guidance in how to implement sustainable practices to ensure future growth."
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Patron, Copenhagen Fashion Summit
Copenhagen Fashion Summit is the world's leading business event dedicated to the role of sustainability in the fashion industry. Now on its sixth edition, the event this year expanded across a two-day agenda, with more than 1,300 key industry players in attendance from 50 countries. With attendees coming from all industry areas, including fashion, politics, NGOs, academia and media, the 2018 event saw a 14% rise in the number of C-suite level attendees, making up 60% of the overall guest list. In order to move the summit forward from a discussion platform to an event that instigates action, organiser Global Fashion Agenda launched the Innovation Forum. An exhibition space running alongside the traditional series of panel discussions and speakers, it showcased more than 50 solution providers, from the established to the innovative. This report looks in detail at the newest solutions to hit the market, and provides an insight into the tools and services at your disposal to start transforming your supply chain from linear to circular.
The CEO Agenda
Hosted by the Global Fashion Agenda, the 2018 Copenhagen Fashion Summit coincides with the launch of the CEO Agenda 2018.
Created in collaboration with Kering, H&M, Target, Bestseller and Li & Fung, the agenda spells out seven priorities that, if adopted, will help make the fashion industry more sustainable.
Aimed at industry leaders, it is split into two sections: three core priorities for immediate implementation, followed by four transformational priorities that will help deliver fundamental change in the long-term. The 2018 summit – discussion topics and exhibitors – are based around these seven priorities, ensuring every aspect of the event works towards a communal and collaborative end. The priorities are as follows:
- Supply-chain traceability
- Efficient use of water, energy and chemicals
- Respectful and secure work environments
- Sustainable material mix
- Closed-loop fashion system
- Promotion of better wage systems
- Fourth industrial revolution
Circular Systems specialises in regenerative new-materials science, offering three technologies, Orbital, Texloop and Agraloop. The former's Composite Yarn technology allows for the creation of high-performing yarns using recycled fibres, resulting in yarns with low pilling and high strength. The Texloop recycling platform is able to convert pre- and post-consumer, 100% synthetic and blended textile waste into recycled fibre. Agraloop is the winner of the Global Change Award 2018 and is able to transform food crop waste into high-value natural fibre products. The technology can use a range of feed stocks including oilseed hemp, pineapple leaves and banana trunks.
Frumat transforms biological industrial residuals into new raw materials. The waste used in the process would otherwise go to landfill, however Frumat's technology converts it into everything from paper, to vegetable-based Simil leather. Located in Italy, the company abides by EU regulations, including twice-yearly audits. Its most coveted material is apple leather, made from apple peel, which can be used in bookbinding, footwear and fashion. The production process uses a recovery tower for water and solvents. Using a distillation process, the system can separate wastewater from the solvent and reuse both of them in an infinite loop, meaning there are no toxic water leaks.
Lite Hide offers an environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional salt preservation method of hides for leather-making. Traditionally, shipping raw hides takes three to six weeks, and uses 20 pounds of salt to each 50 pounds of hide for preservation. Lite Hide technology preserves without salt, and reduces the weight of the hide through dehydration. Each full container of Lite Hide leather is equivalent to three containers of salted hides, cutting down on carbon emissions and costs. Salted hides are cleaned on arrival at the tannery, using four gallons of water. Lite Hide reduces water consumption by 60% and helps to lessen the impact of tanneries on the environment and agriculture.
Joining the war against non-biodegradable plastics, Mango Materials uses a closed-loop system to produce high-value biodegradable biopolymers from waste methane gas. The innovative technology feeds waste methane gas to bacteria that then produces a naturally occurring material called polyhydroxyal-kanoate (PHA), which has similar properties as conventional plastics. This PHA material can be spun into a fibre similar to polyester, and the brand is working towards turning this fibre into sustainable textiles that can be used to create biodegradable products across industry sectors.
Offering an alternative to petroleum-based plastic glitter, Bio Glitz is a plant-derived, biodegradable glitter brand designed to raise awareness around the environmental impact of this festival favourite. Wanting to help people 'shine responsibly', the glitter is derived from renewably sourced, FSC-certified eucalyptus plant cellulose, as well as cosmetic pigments and 0.1% aluminium to add that coveted sparkle. The resulting film is cut into various-sized particles for an offering of multiple colours, including gold, silver, purple and red. Bio Glitz hints at the rise in anti-glitter campaigning, that has seen 61 UK festivals pledge to ban the sparkle from their events from summer 2018 onwards.
Setting its sights on the packaging industry, Paptic offers a plastic-free, sustainable alternative to the fossil-based plastic packaging that is currently the norm. The unique Paptic material is made from 86% renewable and biodegradable raw materials, predominantly sourced from renewable wood fibre, and combines the properties of paper, plastic and textiles. Bio-based, recyclable and renewable, the material can be processed through the same machine systems currently used for plastic and paper. Paptic can be stretched by up to 20% and its tensile strength is high compared to plastic filming, while also having the ability to be heat-sealed. It is fully recyclable.
Tackling the issue of textile and plastic waste, Carbios champions enzyme biotechnology to offer an infinite biorecycling process. This enzymatic recycling process takes advantage of the specificity of enzymes, targeting durable plastics such as bottles, as well as fibres such as PET polyester. The process allows for the recycling of waste without sophisticated sorting, as well as the recovery of the entire performance of original materials. Each enzyme targets a specific polymer in the material, releasing its original building blocks, known as monomers. The monomers have the same properties as the original petrochemical and can be used without the loss of performance.
Tyton Biosciences harnesses the power of water to create clean, recycled fibres for a circular future. Whether cotton, poly-cotton, polyester, nylon or other fibres, Tyton can profitably recycle the materials using water as a solvent, reducing the textile either to a biodegradable, dissolving pulp, or polyester monomers. Using water makes it one of the cleanest and most economical recycling processes, and the company's virgin equivalent, market-grade materials can be sold at the same cost as virgin materials. The pulp can be made into viscose and Lyocell fabrics, while the monomers retain the same material and durability value as virgin-grade polyester.
Renewcell is closing the fashion industry loop, providing the means to turn used cotton and viscose into new biodegradable pulp, new fibres, new yarn, new materials and ultimately new garments. The technology is able to dissolve used cotton and other natural fibres with high cellulosic content, and create a new, naturally dissolving raw material, named Renewcell pulp. This pulp is then fed into the textile production cycle and forced through tiny nozzles to form fibres. At present the plant in Sweden can produce 7,000 tons of biodegradable pulp a year, with sights set on scaling the technology. The fibres are said to have a higher tensile strength than traditional textile fibres.
Reverse Resources is focused on minimising the amount of waste created during the production of a garment. An online, block-chain platform, it provides software to map, use, market and trace textile production leftovers. On average, 25% of resources are spilled at the garment production stage, representing a huge unused resource of raw material. Reverse Resources aims to connect the various levels of the supply chain to work together to put these spillages to use. By measuring factory input and output volumes, users can refer to the data to determine how much leftover virgin fabric is still available for use, then create a remanufacturing scheme to ensure less waste and cost.
Winner of the Best Technology in Fashion & Sustainability Award, Colozen is a breakthrough technology that reinvents the cotton dyeing process, making it more efficient and environmentally friendly. Current cotton dyeing practices are wasteful, toxic and expensive. Through a holistic process that involves applying a patented treatment to raw cotton, Colorzen can help brands reduce water use by up to 90%, eliminate 95% of toxic chemicals, and increase production capacity by 300%. The Colorzen coating replaces the need for water to force a dyeing reaction. Salt is no longer needed, and a shorter process reduces raw material usage and increases output.
Haelixa technology provides traceability solutions throughout the entire value chain. Offering a vast range of industries – from mining to textiles – the opportunity to 'stamp' their products with invisible and inert markers, brands can track and prove product origin and sustainable manufacturing processes. The tracers are composed of DNA sequences, encapsulated within invisible particles that can be mixed with any fluid and item, providing it with a unique fingerprint. This fingerprint is easily identifiable and quantified, using state-of-theart bio-analytics from medicine and forensics. The DNA can be engineered to trace temperature, pH and oxidant concentration.
Helping designers create more sustainable and circular designs, Circular Fashion is an industry connecting platform that allows the entire supply chain to collaboratively realise a cradle-to-cradle economy. The platform's online Circular Design Guide translates circular design principles into tangible, hands-on advice. The Material Database offers approved materials that fulfill the requirements of the brand's recycling partner network, and the Circular Fashion ID system allows each garment to pass through a circularity check. Once checked, they receive a unique electronic ID that retains all the information about the garment for both consumers and the industry to access.
Targeting the ever-growing e-commerce industry, which uses plastic and paper in abundance, Repack represents a new future with its reusable and returnable packaging service. The award-winning packages are available in three adjustable sizes and are made to last at least 20 cycles. Made from durable and recycled materials, the system is designed to bring customer and brand closer together. When a customer receives their product, they can return the packaging free of charge by dropping it into a postbox. Repack encourages brands to offer an incentive to those customers who send it back, thereby strengthening brand loyalty. Overall, Repack reduces CO2 by 80%.
The Regain app is the first-ever multi-brand digital take-back programme, designed to encourage consumers to recycle their unwanted clothing through an incentive system and easy-to-use digital interface. When a consumer drops off one box of unwanted clothing at a drop-off point using the free shipping label, they will instantly receive access to a whole host of discount codes for leading retailers in the UK. One box equals one discount. The company sorts all incoming clothing to either be reused by those in need or recycled into new uses such as rags, giving them a second, third or fourth life. The brand aims to divert as much textile waste from landfill as possible.
Save Your Wardrobe
Focused on transforming a consumer's often underused wardrobe, Save Your Wardrobe is a mobile app powered by artificial intelligence that can help consumers see their clothes in a new light. The app automatically digitises a wardrobe, instantly uploading images of clothes purchased using information sourced from online receipts and emails from online retailers. Those that aren't bought online, or were purchased a while ago, can be entered into the digital wardrobe using the company's computer vision technology. Once a wardrobe is created, the app will suggest pairings of items to create new outfits, based on learnings about the user's lifestyle and preferences.