The Biosynthetics Round Table started with a presentation of the results of the recent Biosynthetics Stakeholder Consultation, which was conducted by Textile Exchange in 2018 and included responses from over 130 participants, revealing an increasing interest in biosynthetics.
Part 1 of the meeting focused on feedstocks for biosynthetics. Federica Zanetti, Assistant Professor from the University of Bologna presented castor as feedstock for biosynthetics, while Ralph Lerner and Bob Rozmiarek from Virent shared insights into diverse sugars. thinkstep gave an overview of impact assessment and the role of LCAs.
Next was a Q&A with experts on fiber and materials. Ding Hao from Dupont, Jaimie Bainbridge from Bolt Threads, Ralph Lerner from Virent and Andrea Lorenzetti and Alex Panizzon from Fulgar shared their experiences. Invista shared insights into the challenges related to biosynthetics and shared the experience of their biobased lycra.
During the break, participants had the opportunity to touch and feel the different fiber innovations. This included products made from biobased (or part biobased) feedstocks including Sorona® (bioPTT) from Dupont, EVO® (bio PA) from Fulgar, biopolyester (based on bio PX produced by Virent), manmade spider silk from Bolt Thread and more.
These input sessions were followed by two working sessions, with Claudia Richardson from Patagonia and Mattias Bodin from H&M as thought starters, sharing their perspectives.
The first working session discussed the question “The next 5-10 years – where do we want to be?”. Participants discussed the importance of impact data to identify “preferred biosynthetics”, the potential use of blends, mass balance to scale uptake, and the importance of policy measures such as carbon taxes.
The second working session covered the question “The next year – where next for the Round Table in 2019?”. The proposals for action included, among others, the definition of “preferred biosynthetics”, the expansion of the aboutbiosynthetics.org portal including case studies, find supplier / clients and material snapshots, the establishment of a living-document as a stepping stone towards a sustainability standard for biosynthetics, and more information on recyclability, biodegradability and impact assessments.
Textile Exchange wants to thank again the sponsors Fulgar and Virent, as well as all participants of the Biosynthetics Round Table, and very much looks forward to continuing these discussions.