The Microfibre Consortium (TMC) has announced that ZDHC, a Netherlands-based multi-stakeholder initiative for the fashion industry, has joined as a research member to facilitate the development of science-based solutions for the textile industry to minimize fiber fragmentation and release to the environment from textile manufacturing and product life cycle.
Environmentalists are particularly concerned about fibre fragments, or microfibres, from both natural and manmade sources because of their potential for accumulation in the natural environment, especially pollution of the oceans. They may also be consumed by marine creatures and reach the human food chain, posing health risks. This critical issue has become increasingly apparent to the textile sector.
ZDHC and TMC will collaborate to meet the industry's engagement needs in order to improve knowledge of microfibres produced in wastewater from textile manufacturing and finishing facilities.
Prior to the publishing of the ZDHC Guidelines update, the two organisations will produce a white paper to clarify the topic. Planned to launch in November, the guidelines will include microfibres and include testing procedures and limit values to hold the sector responsible.
Chair of the MRSL Advisory Council at the ZDHC Foundation and board chair at The Microfibre Consortium, Phil Patterson, said they have the best opportunity of delivering practical solutions, at scale and at speed, by collaborating with ZDHC, a pioneer in the control of hazardous emissions from the textile industry, and The Microfibre Consortium, a leader in understanding and reducing microfibre creation.
The Microfibre Consortium’s executive director, Sophie Mather, said they’ve already found some fantastic information about how different production methods impact fibre fragmentation and release by working directly with its research members, who include textile suppliers, academics, and third-party labs.
With the updated rules, ZDHC will engage all of its stakeholders, including brands, manufacturers, textile- and leather-processing units, to raise awareness of the issue and provide help through its platforms and solutions.
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