PREFERRED MMC ROUND TABLE
PREFERRED MAN-MADE CELLULOSICS ROUND TABLE
The 2019 Preferred ManMade Cellulosic fibers Round Table Summit will take place in Vancouver, BC between 15-18 October (exact date and time TBC) during Textile Exchange’s 2019 Textile Sustainability Conference.
October 15-18, 2019
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE 2018 MMC ROUND TABLE IN MILAN
A lot has happened since over 60 industry experts came together in 2017 in Washington DC for the first MMC Round Table. Businesses, initiatives, NGOs and governments have all been putting a more concrete focus on this fiber, which is the second most important cellulosic fiber group after cotton.
For the 2018 MMC Round Table Summit in Milan on October 22, Textile Exchange brought together all stakeholder groups to hear the latest news, learn, act collectively, and incubate new ideas as we see a huge potential for more sustainable – or preferred – ManMade Cellulosics to gain a higher market share. The meeting was kindly sponsored by Sustainable Textile Solutions and Lenzing, and was hosted by Simone Seisl of Textile Exchange.
Nicole Lambert, Textile Exchange
Nicole gave an overview of environmental, occupational health and social issues related to MMC fiber production, and the approaches that can be used to address these issues and lessen the impacts. She also presented on the MMC landscape over the past 50 years, where we have seen a shift in focus from purely forestry malpractices in the late 1970s to chemical management issues in the past 10 years. The most recent initiatives were also introduced.
Supply Chain Transformation
Dr. Siva Pariti, Sustainable Textile Solutions
Transformation of manufacturing processes will take time and there might not be “one solution fits all”. One important issue to focus on is not just recovery rates -once the harmful substances are recovered in the process, what is done with them? The best would be to ensure that the large majority of recovered chemicals are re-used in the process.
Need for global norms for the industry.
Best Practice and Innovation in Viscose Sourcing
Claire Bergkamp, Stella McCartney
Case study of how Stella McCartney, as a leading brand, tackled their viscose sourcing to guarantee more sustainable practices in their supply chain. The company has entirely mapped their supply chain down to forest level and selected a limited number of suppliers for their best practices.
Forests for Fashion – Fashion for Forests
Birgit Altmann, UNECE/FAO
The UNECE-FAO work includes key players from both the forest and fashion worlds as well as bringing 10 UN organisations together to find solutions to the issues of sustainability. The fashion industry plays a pivotal role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by ensuring sustainable consumption and production methods. The initiative shows that it is possible to maintain the natural capital of forests while using it sustainably.
WORKING SESSION #1 – forest and MMC
Challenges related to forestry and better practises through for example certified forests and policies on virgin forest based feedstock for MMC production by brands and suppliers – session hosted by Canopy and FSC.
WORKING SESSION #2 – innovation in processing, participation
Discussion around innovations that can lead to lessening the impact of MMC production. Presentation of the Spinnova process as an alternative to conventional production. – Session hosted by Fashion for Good and Spinnova.
WORKING SESSION #3 – Chemicals and MMC
Strong need for global guidelines for chemical management – waste water, air emission and waste management. Role out for ZDHC guidelines scheduled for mid-2019.
The entire viscose industry needs some time to catch up with best practices agreed upon.
Session hosted by ZDHC and Lenzing
WORKING SESSION #4 – Closing the loop on MMC, participation
Discussion around circularity of MMCs – planetary boundaries require investing in this topic.
Session hosted by Stella McCartney
EXERCISE: PRIORITY AREAS
We asked our 100+ participants to share their 3 priority-areas with us.
The six categories and responses were:
- Circularity & Recycling: 26
- Industry Know-How & Supply network: 24
- Alternative feedstocks & Innovation: 18
- Low risk virgin feedstock: 12
- Chemicals & Emissions: 10
- Product integrity, labelling & comms: 7
Textile Exchange wants to thank again our 2018 MMC Round Table sponsors Sustainable Textile Solutions and Lenzing, as well as all participants. We very much look forward to continuing these discussions.
Why a preferred MMC round table?
Manmade Cellulosic (MMC) fibers such as Viscose/Rayon, Lyocell and Modal are the second most important group of cellulosic fibers after cotton, with an average demand of 5-6 million tons annually. MMC, usually made of wood or bamboo, are produced mostly in Asia (over 80%), with the highest percentage produced in China (over 60%).
MMC volumes are expected to increase rapidly in the next 15 years possibly reaching 10 million tons annually. There is huge potential for sustainable – or preferred – MMC to gain a higher market share: according to the MarketsandMarkets.com 2015 Report, the regenerated fiber segment is projected to account for the largest share within the eco fiber market by 2020. Growth is estimated at 5-6% per annum, ahead of synthetics at 4-5%, and cotton at 1-2%.
The management of resources and inputs as well as the efficiency and control of the manufacturing process can make MMC products a preferred fiber choice. Recently there has been progress on recycling of cellulosics and blending as well.
A preferred MMC is one that is sourced from producers and verified as low risk of being sourced from ancient and endangered forests, including certified feedstock or alternative feedstock, and one that is manufactured more sustainably. This means fewer toxic chemicals are used and/or the manufacturing technologies aim for high recovery rates where water and chemicals are re-gained.
Textile Exchange has selected preferred MMCs as a lead fiber, with our reports showing tremendous growth and our current e-learning series attracting several hundred industry stakeholders, with topics covering feedstocks, fiber manufacturing, transparency, certification, and industry engagement.
There is more to do to reach economies of scale. Challenges are still to be overcome in the forest, the factory, and the marketplace. This Round Table aims to transform business – move from linear to circular, and to find solutions to technical, societal, and commercial barriers to growth.
Team work and collaboration are key in bringing initiatives like this to their full potential. We are always looking for partners for the PFM Round Tables, and you can explore the available collaboration opportunities using the link below. Please contact us if you would like to discuss these opportunities further.
If you are interested in partnering one of this year’s Round Table meetings, please contact Lisa@TextileExchange.org and we will be happy to send you some more information on the opportunities available.