All Challenges

Enhancing sustainability of animal-based textile fibers and fabrics

Relevant regions : Bangladesh | Central African Republic | India | South Africa |

Wool and leather currently are sources for apparel and accessories with sizable market sizes worldwide. Yet, being currently based on animals for their raw materials, these industries aso have significant greenhouse gas footprints, especially from the rearing sheep and cattle stages, Not only do the animals need significant amounts of feed for their growth, they belch out  methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, and other aspects of their animal husbandry can result in sizable amounts of greenhouse gases too.

For all these reasons, it is imperative that the fashion / textile sectors dependent on animals  for their raw materials need to figure out well-designed avenues to reduce their overall ecological footprint. 

Stakeholders

  • City and local administration
  • Digital solution providers for textiles industry
  • Energy management professionals
  • Financial investors
  • NGOs
  • Researchers or innovators
  • Sourcing professionals
  • Textile and fashion designers
  • Textile education professionals
  • Textile fiber cultivation professional
  • Challenge questions

    How can the wastewater from animal rearing locations be treated sustainably?

    Dec-2020

    Cattle and sheep ranches that are sources for leather and wool are also sources of significant amounts of liquid and solid waste generated from the animals. 

    Cattle and sheep urine, if left untreated can result in nitrogen run off into waterways. Untreated cow and sheep dung similarly can have adverse ecological effects.

    At the same time, there could be avenues to recover value from these solid and liquid wastes generated.

    Stakeholders : Researchers or innovators , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    How can animal rearing be made more sustainable through combining it with sustainable agricultural practices (regenerative farming, sustainable grazing…)

    Dec-2020

    A substantial portion of the inputs for cattle and sheep rearing involves grazing.  This is where animal husbandry meets agriculture.

    Well thought out integration of livestock rearing with farming / crop cultivation can provide sustainable benefits to both sectors.

    Stakeholders : Entrepreneurs , Researchers or innovators , Textile fiber cultivation professional , Textile industry sustainability professionals ,

    What role can focussed awareness and education play (especially for upstream and midstream portions of the value chain) in making the animal-based textiles sector more sustainable?

    Dec-2020

    The upstream and mid-stream components of the leather and wool product value chains comprise companies and stakeholders many of whose practices are quite traditional, and many of these practices may not be sustainable.

    These are stakeholders for whom focussed awareness and education on sustainable practices could make the most difference.

    Stakeholders : City and local administration , Entrepreneurs , NGOs , Researchers or innovators , Textile education professionals , Textile fiber cultivation professional ,

    How can organic animal husbandry play a role in making the animal-based textile industry more sustainable?

    Dec-2020

    Organic animal husbandry for livestock production promotes the use of organic and natural inputs for animal nutrition, animal's health, animal housing and breeding. It avoids use of synthetic inputs such as drugs, chemical feed additives etc.

    As consumers of woolen produces and leather apparel and accessories start demanding ecologically made products, organic animal husbandry could be one  effective avenue for leather and wool product producers to focus on.

    Stakeholders : City and local administration , Researchers or innovators , Textile education professionals , Textile fiber cultivation professional , Textile industry sustainability professionals ,

    How can animal rearing be made low carbon?

    Dec-2020

    The upstream value chain components of the wool and leather used in apparel and accessories are sources for considerable amounts of greenhouse gases.

    Cattle & sheep rearing and the related animal husbandry processes use significant amounts of crops, grasses and feed for food, and these operations also use significant energy. How can the GHG emissions from these upstream processes be reduced significantly?

    Stakeholders : Entrepreneurs , Researchers or innovators , Textile fiber cultivation professional , Textile industry sustainability professionals ,