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TEXAS – Global fibre production has almost doubled in the last 20 years from 58 million tonnes in 2000 to 109 million tonnes in 2020. Forecasts by US consultants Textile Exchange suggest fibre production is expected to increase by another 34 per cent to 146 million tonnes in 2030 if the industry builds back business as usual beyond the pandemic. “If this growth continues, it will be increasingly difficult for the industry to meet science-based targets for climate and nature,” says the Textile Exchange report.

Textile Exchange calls for an increase in the use of ‘preferred fibres’ and materials – these mainly being identity cottons such as Better Cotton and organic cotton along with recycled polyester. It also calls for brands to move towards fibres which have been accredited by one of its standards, including standards for responsible wool, cashmere and alpaca fibre. However, it is not clear how shifting to accredited fibres will global fibre production in absolute terms (and this is surely the issue).

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