Prof. Dr. Maike Rabe chose the Pareto principle to vividly illustrate the crux of both the European and equally global textile and apparel industry - including the need to act responsibly and sustainably.
The professor for textile finishing and ecology at the international teaching and researching elite faculty for textiles and clothing, the German University of Applied Sciences Niederrhein, at the same time head of the affiliated research institute for textiles and clothing, on the occasion of the kick-off of the cooperation platform “KlarTEXt” (ClearTEXt) in September at the faculty location in Mönchengladbach in front of representatives from industry and research.
The end of extensive mass production and the implementation of all technological options toward on-demand manufacturing forms a decisive lever for improving the correlation here.
Thoroughly prepared over a long period – the project was launched with all partners on board in May of this year – joint action is now underway. The objective of the cooperation platform is to dynamize the sustainably transformative textile industry toward the reduction of raw material consumption, improvement of both the use and the disposal of textile products as well as the minimized release of fibrous microplastics.
Cross-linking The “KlarTEXt” initiators consider the cross-linking of stakeholders from science, business, and society to be the key to achieving measurable results. "Through the transfer of knowledge between these three areas, we can establish new paths. At the same time, they emphasize the need for sustainable local jobs and skilled workers with future-oriented education.
At the kick-off, the steering committee of the project partners came up with concrete starting points for interdisciplinary activities and alliances. Lastingly impressive, were the remarks of Prof. Dr. U. Schwanenberg from DWI (Leipniz Institute for Interactive Materials) on the actual and, on top of that, cost-effective usability of biotechnology. "Many consumer products already contain the catalysts for use-downstream processes, such as enzymes. Moreover, scientific advancement is progressing rapidly."
With workshops on critical topics, the meeting got right down to implementation work on questions such as "Is digitization the solution or the root of all evil?" The result and definition of the goal: the need for meaningful and value-adding use of digital tools from AI to BigData.
Concrete measures for implementation
Under the leadership of the German Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy (WI), project partners and representatives from the industry worked on the political framework conditions for a realistic circular economy in the textile sector. Orientation points for the actual scope for action and needs for European legislation are getting filtered out here.