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ILLINOIS – This week we are delighted to share with all our readers a remarkable, wide-ranging essay which appears in the current edition of Apparel Insider. Written by analytical scientist, Luke Haverhals, founder and CEO of Natural Fibre Welding, his piece takes a broad look at how the textile industry might look in the post-Covid world.

Specifically, he expresses concern that the “post-Covid change will be informed by data that have not been transparently published or analysed within relevant contexts.”

The article says: “There are many decisions being made (or not being made) in this Covid world that are based on data that are neither transparent nor grounded in their appropriate context. I see today that it is impossible to avoid echo chambers built and carefully curated to propagate selective data sampling. Instead, elected data are subsequently fed to logic that grinds one type of axe or another. ‘Thought leaders’ surgically carve out information that supports the predetermined group conclusions and are promoted as ‘transparent truth’ – often well beyond their relevant context. The masses are infected by ‘influencer super spreaders’ and the cycle is repeated and amplified throughout the internet.”

He also has huge concerns about the SAC’s sustainability scoring measure, the Higg Index, which he argues “goes out of its way to favourably score materials sourced from petrochemicals while generally scoring agricultural materials relatively poorly. This is a curious asymmetry that no doubt has an effect on sustainability dialogues and policy making around the world.

“The Higg Index is also designed to influence procurement and buying decisions, meaning that this asymmetry extends to resource allocation and investments. This is especially concerning given the lack of transparency of how SAC collects and treats data.”

Haverhals argues that many of the answers to industry problems lie primarily in nature. He adds: “Agriculture is one of the very few technologies available to humanity that can mitigate and even reverse climate change. Researchers at Yale recently pointed out that more carbon resides in soil than in the atmosphere and all plant life combined; there are 2,500 billion tons of carbon in soil, compared with 800 billion tons in the atmosphere and 560 billion tons in plant and animal life. And compared to many proposed geoengineering fixes, storing carbon in soil is simple: It’s a matter of returning carbon where it belongs.”

The full piece can be viewed HERE


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