Sometimes—or maybe even most times—it seems like progress toward sustainability and a more circular life cycle moves at a snail’s pace. But behind the scenes, the industry’s suppliers are making amazing progress. The key will be pressure from consumers to drive brands to change their business models. Textiles expert and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan tracks many of these initiatives and we encourage our readers to visit to stay current with the latest news.

Here are a few of the latest headlines:

Lenzing Named EcoVadis Sustainability Champion for the Second Time—Lenzing Group, a world-leading provider of sustainably produced specialty fibers, has been awarded platinum status in the CSR rating from EcoVadis. This comprehensive assessment covers the four key practices of corporate social responsibility: the environment, fair working conditions and human rights, ethics and sustainable procurement.

The Lycra Company to Use Qira® for Next Generation Bio-Derived Lycra® Fiber Production at Scale—The Lycra Company, a global leader in developing innovative fiber and technology solutions for the textile and apparel industry, announced it has entered into an agreement with Qore® to enable the world’s first large-scale commercial production of bio-derived spandex using QIRA®, the next generation 1,4-butanediol (BDO), as one of its main ingredients. This will result in 70% of the LYCRA® fiber content being derived from annually renewable feedstock. This change could potentially reduce the carbon footprint of LYCRA® fiber by up to 44% versus equivalent product made from fossil-based resources, while maintaining the same high-quality performance parameters of traditional LYCRA® fiber.

Groundbreaking Natural Indigo Innovation from Stony Creek Colors at The Albini Group Receives Award Recognition During Milan Fashion Week—Stony Creek Colors is proud to have been awarded The Groundbreaker Award by the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (The National Chamber of Italian Fashion) at the 2022 Sustainable Fashion Awards alongside supply chain partner, The Albini Group, for innovation projects Grounded Indigo and Biofusion®. Grounded Indigo is an innovative sustainable coloring project, developed by ALBINI_next and made possible with the high-purity, natural indigo from Stony Creek Colors. Stony Creek Colors produces the world’s only 100% BioPreferred™ indigo, certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (a 100% score indicates that after being subject to radiocarbon dating, the product is proven not to contain any synthetic adulterants).

PONGS® Manufacturing Is GRS Certified as They Work Holistically Green from Thread to Finish—PONGS® are pioneers in the textile industry when it comes to sustainability. Our own standards go far beyond the usual international level. After all, we produce and sell textile materials that people come into contact with every day. We want to close the last gaps in the process from production to assembly and work green holistically—from thread to finish, and all made in Germany. The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) certificate adds a crucial piece of the puzzle to our sustainability concept. It confirms PONGS®'s extensive use of recycled materials by an internationally renowned organization. We thus produce completely free of PVC, with steadily increasing use of recycled polyester as the basis of our textile production and under demonstrably fair working conditions.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Is Awarded a USDA Grant for More Than a Million Acres of Sustainable Cotton Production—The U.S Cotton Trust Protocol is proud to be the lead and recipient of the U.S. Climate Smart Cotton Program, which will receive funding as one of those selected as part of the USDA Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot projects. The project will build markets for climate-smart cotton and provide technical and financial assistance to over 1,000 U.S. cotton farmers to advance adoption of climate smart practices on more than one million acres. This will allow the production of more than four million bales of Climate Smart Cotton over five years.

Lenzing, Lycra, Epson and others are creating new fibers, more sustainable printing technologies and more. Be sure to bookmark and visit regularly!