From The Trash to High Couture: How Wearable Food Waste is Transforming the Textile Industry In Line with the Agenda 2030
Received Date: February 25, 2020; Published Date: June 01, 2020
The textile and food industries seem worlds apart. One is focused on trend-setting and design, the other on growing, processing, manufacturing and distributing food, from the farm to retail shops and restaurants. For a long time, synergies and trade-offs between these sectors have been overlooked. More recently, however, the two industries came together to tackle common challenges, unleashing innovative and sustainable solutions.
Through a theoretical and empirical analysis, this paper investigates emerging methods of treating food waste and by-products to produce fibres, arguing that cross-industry collaboration can lead to regenerative impacts for the benefit of nature, society, and economy. Orange Fibre, Piñatex, S. Café are among the case studies scrutinised to illustrate the advantages related to edible innovations. Turning waste into a resource is essential to increase efficiency and close the loop in a circular economy, improve waste management practices, and limit the use of landfilling, in line with the EU Framework Directive on waste and SDG 12.3. Furthermore, recycled and innovative fibres do not require any extra farmland, water, fertilisers or pesticides to be produced.
Fostering cross-industry collaboration, pursuant to SDG 17, can also serve as a source of brand differentiation. As more-sustainable solutions seem increasingly attractive for a growing customer base, partnerships may open up new opportunities for business, despite the pressures of resource scarcity.