Biosynthetics Round Table


Textile Exchange’s Biosynthetics Round Table was established in 2016 during the Textile Sustainability Conference in Hamburg, Germany. The aim of the Biosynthetics Round Table is to develop a framework to assess biosynthetics and to define preferred biosynthetics in order to support the industry to make informed decisions.

2021 Round Table Summit Sponsors:

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Importance of the Biosynthetics Round Table

Biosynthetics is part of Textile Exchange’s preferred fiber & material scope due to its potential to offer a replacement made from renewables rather than fossil fuel-based feedstocks. The Biosynthetics Round Table, driven by the priorities of its industry members, aims to be the forum for organizations to discuss opportunities and challenges we face as an industry, including the sustainability of feedstock production and innovations in future feeder materials.

Please email to get involved today.

2020 Biosynthetics Round Table Summit



Highlights from the 2020 Biosynthetics Virtual Round Table

The 2020 Biosynthetics Round Table Summit took place virtually on December 8. Thank you to Virent for being a Connector level sponsor of the 2020 Biosynthetics Round Table.

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Highlights from the 2018 Biosynthetics Round Table in Milan

More than 80 stakeholders with different expertise and backgrounds including suppliers, brands and researchers participated in the multi-stakeholder Biosynthetics Round Table Summit at Textile Exchange’s Textile Sustainability Conference in Milan on October 22, 2018, which was kindly sponsored by Fulgar and Virent. The meeting was hosted by Norrøna’s Brad Boren, Chair of Textile Exchange’s Biosynthetics Working, with support from Sophia Opperskalski of Textile Exchange.

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Highlights from the 2017 Biosynthetics Round Table in Milan

  • The aim of Textile Exchange’s new microsite is to be the go-to resource for reliable, well referenced information on biosynthetic raw materials through to fibers, fabrics and products, and to be easily understandable for a general audience.
  • Not all biosynthetics are equal when comparing life cycle assessments. Choice of feedstock and processing routes are of key importance.
  • A roadmap of biosynthetics is needed so a strategic approach can be applied to the work required for this to become a more mainstream preferred fibre.
  • There are many factors that effect the scale up of biosynthetics including, but not limited to: driving economies of scale across industry; sustainable attributes; performance properties; and integrity. These need to be addressed in order to be able to scale up biosynthetics. For companies, it is important to start seeding bio synthetics as a part of their preferred material portfolios.
  • The integrity landscape regarding biosynthetic remains confusing right now – what can be done to demystify it? Do we need standards or certifications? If yes, what should they cover? Biosynthetics differ quite vastly from one another, so it might be difficult to create broad standards.
  • It is important to look at the end of life options for biosyntehtics as they vary greatly. Closed-loop and recyclable options are important.
  • The group carried out a mapping exercise to prioritize actions needed from the industry to scale biosynthetics between now and 2030. Some of the short-term priorities identified include: investment in innovation, information sharing (such as through Textile Exchange’s new microsite), LCAs, and feedstock/ traceability certification.
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Photo by Erika Nizborski

Outcomes & Next Steps

Textile Exchange’s Biosynthetics microsite (version 1.0) to be launched in Q4 2017.

  • Priorities for the Working Group going into 2018 (funding permitting) include:
    • Education – further develop products and tools such as webinar series and additional information/resources to be added to the Fiber & Materials webpages and new microsite.
    • Development of an online discussion platform (or more fully exploit LinkedIn for group discussions).
    • GMO consensus – continue the dialogue on the use of GMOs in biosynthetic and reach a consensus within the Working Group.