Progress update from The Microfibre Consortium signals new call for industry action to close data and knowledge gaps

The Microfibre Consortium has published an update on progress being made towards zero impact of fibre fragmentation from textiles to the natural environment by 2030. Following the launch of The Microfibre 2030 Commitment and Roadmap in 2021, the report showcases the collaborative initiative’s achievements to date and includes the latest insights from global tests and research analysis. The Microfibre Consortium is publishing the full report on its website, to identify progress and encourage more organisations to engage with The Microfibre 2030 Commitment and close the data and knowledge gaps.

Launched in September 2021, The Microfibre 2030 Commitment is a global framework that now has over 80 participants, including some of the world’s largest textile and apparel companies. Signatories are contributing to a sustained programme of collaborative and proactive cross industry work, aligned to The Microfibre Roadmap, which sets out the path forwards through defined targets and clear milestones to reduce fibre fragmentation. All signatories are required to actively support the roadmap by concerted action, particularly in the delivery of testing to measure fibre fragmentation and enable root cause understanding.

The progress update covers the start of the Activate phase of the roadmap from October 2021 to June 2022 and confirms that the majority of target milestones for 2021-2022 are on track, or have been achieved. The work has been focused on building the foundations that will underpin the success and accountability of the programme, including strong governance, high levels of engagement, and the roll out of practical tools for organisations to use. These include: A biodegradability report; preliminary manufacturing guidelines; and a glossary to help standardise language and terms used when discussing the issue of fibre fragmentation.

Central to The Microfibre Consortium’s work is The Microfibre Data Portal, which has been strengthened, both in terms of its structure and the volume of data it holds, the latter thanks to a 38% increase in the number of signatories undertaking textile testing since the launch of The Microfibre 2030 Commitment. The progress update offers valuable insights from the portfolio of global materials tests that have now been completed.

Sophie Mather, Executive Director of The Microfibre Consortium, comments: “The publication of this progress update is a key moment for The Microfibre Consortium. Just nine months since the launch of The Microfibre 2030 Commitment, it is energising to see the progress being made through increased accountability, collective momentum, and the presence of the topic in sustainability strategies across the industry.

Holding ourselves accountable against our clear agenda, we have identified progress but we are also honest about where we need to channel further efforts. For root cause change to become mainstream reality, we must call on the industry to increase testing, fund and participate in research, if we are to expedite work. This way, we will continue to create a robust textile-science perspective which has established our reputation to date. We welcome opportunities to engage those willing to support this vital work.”

Dr Kate Riley of Textile Exchange adds: “Textile Exchange is delighted to see The Microfibre Consortium’s progress update. It demonstrates the steps made by the consortium and its industry signatories and the learnings achieved. Continued progress towards the milestones on The Microfibre Roadmap will be needed to drive knowledge building and understanding, and to develop solutions for the industry.”

Anna Biverstal of the H&M Group comments: “This report is a useful tool for organisations wanting to better understand microfibres in the context of their wider sustainability agenda. Underpinned by The Microfibre Roadmap, it helps frame the challenges and the ambitious agenda, and helps to set the path ahead for industry.”

SGS, the world's leading testing, inspection and certification company, adds: “This report details the significant actions taken and learnings made by The Microfibre Consortium and its signatories. It also serves as a rallying call to action for the textile industry to invest and further understand fibre fragmentation.”

The Microfibre 2030 Commitment update report is available now on TMC’s website HERE.

To discuss how to sign up to The Microfibre 2030 Commitment, please contact

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